Valtteri Bottas has blamed a painted white line for the poor start that cost him potential victory in the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix.
Bottas claimed the seventh pole-position of his career in qualifying for the 1000th world championship event but was jumped at the start by eventual race-winner and team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The erstwhile championship leader would trail Hamilton for the entire race, coming home second, some six-and-a-half seconds adrift to record the third straight one-two finish for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport.
“For us as a team it’s really been a perfect start to the season; we could not have imagined to get three 1-2s in a row, so a big thank you to everyone for their hard work,” said Bottas.
“We managed to maximise on every single opportunity which is great to see.
“For me personally today has been a bit disappointing as I was on pole, but then lost the race at the start. There’s a white line just outside the starting box and I had some wheelspin when I went over it and lost the position to Lewis.
“It’s all about details in this sport, so unfortunately that detail decided the rest of the race.”
With second place, Bottas relinquishes the championship lead to Hamilton but Mercedes take a sizeable lead over rivals Scuderia Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. The Finn however, remains aware of the upcoming challenges.
“On the positive side, we did have a strong race pace here in Shanghai, much better than in Bahrain. I think that we’re in a good position, but we need to keep pushing.
“This track is very unique in its layout and Baku will hold very different challenges so it’s going to be interesting again in two weeks.”