Valtteri Bottas: “My Race Was Decided In The Pits” Following Verstappen Clash

by Craig Venn

Valtteri Bottas says his 2019 Monaco Grand Prix was “decided in the pits” following a clash with Max Verstappen that cost him a potential shot at victory.

Bottas had been beaten to pole-position by his team-mate Lewis Hamilton and trailed the championship leader during an early-race safety car period. The busy pit-lane saw Verstappen launch into the side of Bottas as the pair raced from their pit-boxes, closely followed by Sebastian Vettel.

The contact left Bottas with a puncture and the Finn was forced to stop again the following lap, dropping him to fourth behind Vettel.

“My race was decided in the pits,” says Bottas. “We did a double-stacked pit stop under the Safety Car, Lewis first, then me. Vettel and Verstappen came in as well and when I left the pits, Max was released at the same time and was side-by-side with me.

“We touched, I hit the wall because there’s no space to go and I got a right-front puncture. So I had to do another pit stop the following lap. At that point, I thought I’d be at the end of the field, but I only lost a couple of places, so I guess I was unlucky but lucky at the same time.

Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty for the incident and would drop from second at the finish line to fourth, promoting Bottas to the podium behind Vettel and race-winner Hamilton.

“It’s always disappointing if you finish the race lower than you qualified; however, my pace was really good all weekend long and I still scored valuable points for me and the team.

“One of my first thoughts this morning was that I wanted to drive well for Niki [Lauda], I wanted to win for him. Ultimately, I didn’t, but Lewis did, so I’m sure Niki would be proud right now.”

Related articles

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More