The 2020 Spanish Grand Prix was a day of mixed emotions for Valtteri Bottas. On one hand, the Finn scored his 50th podium in Formula 1, and grabbed the extra point for setting the fastest lap.
On the other, after turn one, he saw his hopes of winning the race and closing the gap in the championship drive up the road as he was passed by Max Verstappen, and had to settle for third.
The Start Was The Key
A despondent Bottas will review the start of the race, and look for areas to improve before the next race at Spa.
‘I think the start was the key point. The start was not good enough and I lost the position.
‘So in the first stint I had to push hard to make some ground and then you struggle with the tyre life and in stint two I was pretty much behind Max and everybody knows how difficult it is to overtake at this track, so in the end I think the start was the bad thing.
‘I’ll have to look at it. It seems like Lewis in front, he got a good start and I think the guys behind me got a good tow and I had no tow. I’ll have to have a look at it.
Sandwiched At The Start
Bottas tried everything he could to both grab a tow from Hamilton and protect his position, but in the end his efforts were in vain, as he couldn’t do anything to stop the rampaging Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
‘I don’t really know if there’s much difference between left and right. I don’t know the facts. All I know is that I had a bad start, at least compared to Lewis and when you’re at the front, the effect is even worse because the cars behind, they get a tow out of you.
‘So, first I tried to move to the left, to get a tow from Lewis but then Max was already there, and then I tried to go to the right to cover the inside, but one of the Racing Points was already there.
‘Then I had cars on the outside and one on the inside that was ahead of me into Turn One. So I was a bit sandwiched. Everyone knows on this track how tricky it is when you lose two places at the start.
‘Of course, we tried everything we could. The pace was strong and I think the tyres were holding on a bit better than expected. We tried something different at the end for me and even made an extra stop at the end for the fastest lap, which worked – but for me personally, of course, really, really disappointing today,’ concluded Bottas.
With the gap to Hamilton increasing over the past few races, Bottas will need to make a fast start and hope luck goes his way when the paddock heads to Spa.