Valtteri Bottas reckons painted white line hurt getaway

Valtteri Bottas described the Chinese Grand Prix start as “key” as he missed out on victory to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, believing a painted white line hurt his chances.

Bottas lined up from pole position and made a decent getaway but suffered wheelspin thereafter and relinquished the advantage to Hamilton before the pack reached Turn 1.

Bottas slotted into second place and their positions remained unchanged through to the chequered flag.

Chinese GP: Race Result | Drivers' Standings | Constructors' Standings

“Lewis had a better start and for me, the problem was already on the formation lap start,” said Bottas.

“There was a thick white line just in front of my grid box, so, when you’re still accelerating, and when I went over the white line I got some wheelspin on the formation lap start.

“For the race start, I thought maybe it’s going to be better with warmer tyres but it wasn’t, so once I hit the white line, got the wheelspin, took too long to recover it, lost a few metres of distance, so Lewis got me.

“That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Hamilton went on to lead Mercedes’ third successive 1-2 and with it took the lead of the championship from Bottas.

“I think for the first stint Lewis had a pretty strong stint,” commented Bottas.

“I was initially close by but obviously when you are behind, you are sliding a bit more, overheating the tyres a bit more.

“I think after the first stint, the second and third stint were very similar. Just about how much you were managing or pushing.

“So, I think race start was the key – but Lewis did a good job on that. So, that’s how it goes.”