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Bottas rues poor start after losing further ground


The Finn was dejected after finishing well adrift of his teammate.

Valtteri Bottas rued a poor start at the Spanish Grand Prix which led to him losing more ground in the Formula 1® world championship.

The Mercedes driver had a bad launch from second place on the grid in Barcelona as he was promptly passed by Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll, then only just able to hold off Sergio Perez and Alex Albon.

Bottas ultimately got back into third place and claimed the fastest lap but was unable to challenge runner-up Verstappen, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton went on to earn the most comfortable of victories from pole.

The Finn has finished outside of the top two in four straight races and now trails Hamilton by 43 points, with Verstappen also six points better off, so a 50th career podium was not enough to lift his spirits.

"I think the start was the key point," said Bottas. "It was not good enough, I lost a position in the first stint and then had to push hard to make some ground so struggled with the tyre life.

"In stint two I was behind Max and everyone knows how hard that it is to overtake on this track, so the start was the bad thing.

"I'm not sure what happened – Lewis got a good start and got away, so I did not have a tow like those behind.

"We'll need to look at it. First corner it is always tight, last year it was pretty tight as well, it just didn't work for me and I was kind of sandwiched.

"So I'm just disappointed."

Bottas' mood was unlikely to be helped by team principal Toto Wolff's gushing praise of Hamilton.

"At the moment I have to say he drives in a league is his own," Wolff said of the Briton.

"What makes me most happy is we have been able to recover from Silverstone and win in the same conditions. Thanks to all the engineers, the dynamics department - it shows the strength of the team.

"Lewis was totally under control. The weakness for Valtteri was the start, he caught up to Max Verstappen but he couldn't overtake as the soft tyres didn't work as expected."