Valtteri Bottas admits he is disappointed with third place in the Portuguese Grand Prix having once again seen Lewis Hamilton overtake him on track when leading.
The Finn started from pole position and held off Hamilton both at the original start and then after a safety car period, with his teammate dropping to third place behind Max Verstappen for a spell. But Hamilton climbed back to second place and then took the lead with a bold move into Turn 1 on lap 20 — the same lap he passed Bottas in the same race last year — before a sensor issue limited Bottas to third.
Round the outside at Turn 1 🤩
The move that put @LewisHamilton well on the way to his second victory in Portugal #PortugueseGP 🇵🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/oV1D6vTY6M
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 2, 2021
“Disappointing,” Bottas said. “When you start from pole position there’s only one target for the race and that is to win the race and that didn’t happen today, so I’m disappointed.
“I don’t really know why in the first stint I didn’t have the pace — it felt like everything, in terms of race start and restart was good from our side but I could see quite quickly in the race that we just didn’t have the pace like Lewis and Max had, and I don’t really have an explanation.
“It was better on the hard tire — at some point I was catching Max and then I had an issue with one sensor. I started to lose power and lost about five seconds to Max and that was it.”
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Bottas also received a radio message from team principal Toto Wolff encouraging him as he chased down Verstappen at one stage, and he says it’s not unusual to receive such feedback from his boss during a race.
“No, it’s not. There’s been many times that he opens the radio and says something. It’s all support and shows there’s the support and passion behind and it never hurts. Obviously, I’m always giving it everything I have on track, but it’s good.”
One of the biggest positives for Bottas was the fact he picked up an extra point for the fastest lap after Verstappen had his final effort deleted for exceeding track limits, and he says the raw pace of the car was encouraging.
“Overall, we’ve had a strong package today. I don’t really know why in the first stint it didn’t work — we need to look at that. Otherwise, good points.”