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Bottas buzzing with Sochi win after 'massive bee' distraction

28/09/20

The Finn overcame a bizarre early distraction to come out on top.

Valtteri Bottas was buzzing with his victory at the Russian Grand Prix after revealing he was prevented from passing Lewis Hamilton at the start because of a "massive bee" on his visor.

Bottas triumphed in Sochi to claim his second success of the 2020 season, in the process closing the gap on Mercedes team-mate Hamilton to 44 points in the standings.

World champion Hamilton was handed two five-second penalties from the stewards for an illegal practice start and Bottas took full advantage, finishing comfortably clear of runner-up Max Verstappen.

However, the Finn initially got off to a shaky start as he failed to overtake his colleague on the opening lap. He missed his braking point, which he later revealed was down to an unlikely distraction.

"I tried [to overtake]," he said in his post-race interview. "I knew the start was going to be the first opportunity.

"Actually, it was a bit compromised because there was like a massive bee or something that hit my visor as I was braking.

"I couldn't really see when I should brake. So that's why I went too deep. But I knew it was going be a long race after that and, with the medium tyre, I had opportunities.

"But obviously Lewis had penalties, so once I was in clean air I felt the pace was pretty awesome and I could really control everything."

Verstappen also profited from Hamilton's penalties and was left feeling satisfied with his second-place finish having rarely threatened at any stage to mount a serious challenge to Bottas.

"I was just trying do my own race. I think we did everything well, and I'm very happy with second," he said.

"After the restart I think we were a little bit slow on the medium, but once we went onto the hard tyre, I think we were a little bit more competitive, so I'm happy about that.

"To be able to split the Mercedes' cars again, I think we can be pleased with that."