Valtteri Bottas on the British GP: “It’s a big loss of points”

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Valtteri Bottas conceded that his finish outside the top ten at the British Grand Prix seriously derailed his quest to win the 2020 Formula 1 championship.

The Finn suffered a tyre puncture in lap 50 of the race and susequently finished in P11. Now Bottas sits 30 points behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the championship standings

“Of course it’s not ideal,” said Bottas.

“For the moment, if everything goes to plan with the calendar, I think there’s going to be more than 10 races to go.

“But you just don’t know, so obviously the best bet would be to be on top of the points all of the time. It’s a big loss of points. These kinds of things, you can’t really afford, but obviously it happened.

“Yes Lewis had a good race, but he also got away with it in a way. What can I do? What can I say? It’s not ideal, but you can’t change what has happened.

“I’ll keep pushing and keep believing. You just never know what will happen.”

The Finn went on to speculate about what caused the tyre failure.

“There’s always a lot of factors when that kind of failure happens. Maybe just a small thing can trigger it at the end when it’s on the limit.

“It’s difficult to say. Overall our pace was not that dissimilar, but of course being the car behind another one means that in the corners you lose a bit of downforce. You slide a bit more, that can easily have an affect of couple of laps of tyre life.

“I was trying to manage the tyres, at the same time obviously to Lewis, because otherwise there would no chance for me to win the race. I was trying to do it in the right places at the right time, but still that happened.

“Towards the end of the stint, there was quite a bit of vibration, [which] was getting worse but not like big step. Then suddenly the puncture happened and [we] couldn’t predict it.”

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he sympathised with Bottas after his unfortunate incident.

“The drama unfolded with Valtteri coming on the radio saying ‘there’s something wrong with the tyre’ and then 10 seconds later, we had the puncture,” said Wolff.

“We saw the puncture on the sensors and at the same time, I saw where he was on track and he was exactly on the wrong side of the track.

“It was clear that it wasn’t going to be a great result. I felt very sorry for him, and for the team, because it would have been 18 points more in the constructors, and 18 points for him in the driver’s championship suddenly vanished.”

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