Valtteri Bottas has blamed a clutch issue for his poor getaway in the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix, saying that “all the hard work of the weekend was lost at the start” as he trailed his team-mate home in second.
Bottas had claimed a sensational pole-position in Spain but his poor getaway at the start of the race allowed his team-mate Lewis Hamilton to snatch the lead at turn one.
The erstwhile championship leader was unable to mount a challenge on eventual race winner Hamilton, despite a late-race restart following a safety car period.
“I had an issue with my clutch at the start, it was vibrating and it seemed like it was biting and releasing at a very quick frequency, so my initial getaway was really poor,” said Bottas.
“Unfortunately that meant that all the hard work of the weekend was lost at the start, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’re a strong team and will investigate the cause of the issue to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.”
The result sees Bottas lose his championship lead to the tune of seven points but the Finn remains positive regarding Mercedes AMG Motorsport‘s supreme start to the season.
“For me personally, it wasn’t the best of days, but from a team’s perspective it was a really good weekend. Congratulations to Lewis for the win, he had a strong race pace today.
“The team is performing at an incredible level at the moment; hats off to every single member of the team, both at Brackley and Brixworth but also here at the race track.”
From the sweeping curves of Barcelona, Formula 1 now heads to the tight streets of Monaco where Bottas will look to continue the battle at the head of the field with Hamilton.
“I’m looking forward to the race in Monaco; it’s such a unique track and a completely different challenge, so it’s difficult to say who will be the strongest team around there.”