Bottas admits championship now "drifting away"

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas feels that the 2020 world championship is "drifting away" after finishing third in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Bottas admits championship now "drifting away"

Bottas lost ground to both race winner Lewis Hamilton and runner-up Max Verstappen in the title battle, and he now lies 43 points behind his teammate, and six behind the Red Bull driver.

His day was made harder by a bad start that left him stuck behind the Racing Point of Lance Stroll, and having passed the Canadian he was never able to get onto terms with Verstappen.

A point for fastest lap provided some consolation.

Bottas won the first event of the season in Austria last month, but he has seen Hamilton steadily extend his advantage in subsequent races.

"Initial analysis is just a bad start," he said of his poor first lap in Spain. "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."

Read Also:

Asked to pinpoint what has gone wrong for him this season Bottas said he was not able to single out any factor.

"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."

Bottas said he's had no issues with the relentless pace of the season, which has seen six races squeezed into seven weekends.

"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."

shares
comments

Related video

Binotto "surprised" by suggestion of Vettel tension
Previous article

Binotto "surprised" by suggestion of Vettel tension

Next article

Hamilton “humbled, honoured” to break Schumacher’s F1 record

Hamilton “humbled, honoured” to break Schumacher’s F1 record
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021