Valtteri Bottas reckons a “massive bee” contributed to him not being able to pass Lewis Hamilton at the start of Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.
Bottas challenged Hamilton for the lead at the start of the race at the Sochi Autodrom and took to the outside line into Turn 2, but went over the exit kerb, allowing Hamilton to remain ahead.
Bottas followed Hamilton through the opening phase of the race and inherited the lead when the Briton was handed two five-second time penalties for practice start violations.
He went on to cruise clear of Max Verstappen to claim his second victory of the season.
“Obviously I tried [to pass], as I knew the start was going to be the first opportunity,” he said.
“I was compromised because there was a massive bee or something smashed into my visor, just before the braking and that’s why I couldn’t really see when I should brake and went a bit too deep.
“I knew it was going to be a long race after that and with the Medium tyres I had there would be opportunities.
“Then Lewis had a penalty and once I was in clean air I felt the pace was pretty, pretty awesome and I could really control everything.”
It marked Bottas’ first victory since the opening round of the campaign back in July.
“It’s nice to get a win again,” said Bottas. “It’s been a while and it definitively feels good.
“Now [I need to] try to keep the momentum, I managed to squeeze a bit more points against Lewis, there are still quite a few races to go and you never know.
“I’ll keep pushing, won’t give up and we’ll see how it ends up.”
Bottas cut Hamilton’s title advantage to 44 points.