Valtteri Bottas: “I can see again the championship drifting away”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After finishing third at the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas admits his title hopes have started to fade away.

Bottas dominantly won the first race of the season, however he hasn’t been able to best his team-mate Lewis Hamilton since. Now he lies 43 points behind Lewis and 6 points behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

“Initial analysis is just a bad start,” said Bottas about his bad start.

“I think the initial getaway from the line was not quite good enough, and also my reaction time could have been a bit better, so it’s just not the perfect start when it was needed.

“And on this track if the guys behind get a tow from you and if you don’t get the tow and if your start is not better, you pay the price, so that’s it. Initially disappointed of course, it’s far from ideal.

“I have no clue actually what the points’ difference is, but it’s way too big. And I can see again the championship drifting away. So we’ll take a couple of days to look at everything, and see what went wrong. And again, move on.

“But obviously at this point, very disappointing, but yes, I know I’ll always bounce back, and no doubt in Spa, as always, I’ll be in full mental health, giving everything I have. But for now I just want to be somewhere else than here right now.”

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The Finn was asked to pinpoint what had gone wrong for him in the 2020 season.

“At this moment, I can’t say. I had a good start in the first race, and the pace all season, every single race, the pace has been there. Qualifying has been super close every single time with Lewis, sometimes he beats me, sometimes I beat him. It’s small margins.

“So I don’t know the reason for now. There were couple of shitty races for me in Silverstone, with bad luck. At this point it’s difficult to say. Maybe when time goes on I can say, for now I’ve no answer.

“Apart from the first race, it’s been pretty bad. There’s not been a weekend that has gone smoothly and without issue, apart from the first one, so a pretty bad season so far. Obviously, that’s disappointing.

“So yes, nice to have a break. Hopefully, we still have many more races to go, maybe even up to 10 or something like this. I would hope so. So far, far from ideal.”

Asked how he has dealt with the stacked season so far, Bottas said he has no problem with this season’s grueling schedule.

“It’s been okay, honestly, you know, we all had quite a long time off from F1, so we were really kind of ready and committed to go for it.

“Sometimes you might want to spend more time with many people that you’re not allowed and can’t, you take it because the only goal is to win the title, and I do everything for that.

“In theory, there’s always possibilities, that helps, but like today is a big frustration because, obviously, the last two weekends I lost a lot of points compared to Lewis and this was kind of again, for me mentally would have been important to get more points than Lewis and Max. But didn’t happen so then it’s tough.

“As I said before, no doubt, I’ll find that right spirit again for the next weekend and try again,” concluded the Finn.

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