Valtteri Bottas 'lost the race' on run to first corner
Valtteri Bottas has accepted that he lost the Brazilian Grand Prix on the run to the first corner, having slipped behind Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel.
Bottas qualified on pole position, his first since Austria, but fell to second at the Senna S, as Vettel darted to the inside of the corner, having lined up alongside the Finn on the front row.
Bottas trailed Vettel throughout the remainder of the race, and came close to overhauling the Ferrari driver after opting to use the undercut, though Vettel stayed in front, and opened an advantage.
Bottas ultimately came home as runner-up, two seconds back from Vettel, and was left to rue the outcome of the first corner, believing it proved pivotal, due to their relatively similar pace.
“I think we lost the race in the first corner,” said Bottas.
“When I dropped the clutch at the start initially, there was less grip than I expected, so I broke the traction and got some wheel spin.
“Seb got a better getaway and managed to get on the inside. That is unfortunate because the race pace between us and Ferrari was very close today and we had a similar strategy.
“When we went for the Softs, we tried the undercut and tried to attack with the new tyres, but there was no way to get past.
“We wanted to attack in the very end again but, when I was trying to pick up the pace again, there was nothing left in the tyres.
“After the good result yesterday, I had very high hopes for today.
“But if you look at the positives, it has been a much better weekend for me personally than I had for a while.”