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Bottas: Abu Dhabi race mirrored 2018 struggles, 'turned to s**t'

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas says his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix performance mirrored his 2018 Formula 1 season as a whole, as it started off promisingly before "everything turned to shit"

The Finn shared the front row with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and kept second place behind the world champion at the start of the race.

But while his pace in the opening stint was solid, Bottas faded after switching to the supersofts, falling behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and the two Red Bull cars.

"Overall the race sums up the season quite well - [it] started off quite well and then everything turns to shit," Bottas said.

"I initially had a lock-up into Turn 5, when Sebastian got close [towards the end of the race], and then he got DRS and overtook me.

"I thought it was purely my mistake, which in the end it was, but the wind suddenly turned around, so I would've had to brake a bit earlier for the wind - fair enough.

"At the same time, the team found some vibration on the rear right brake and some issue, so sometimes the front brakes had to work harder than the rear brakes to compensate and that meant there were sudden lock-ups.

"[The] same thing happened when I went straight [at Turn 8] and Verstappen got close.

So, we still need to investigate what was exactly the issue with the brakes."

When asked about the Bottas's underwhelming race, team boss Toto Wolff confirmed that "some odd braking behaviour" was observed on the right rear of Bottas' car, adding that it seemed to improve after his second stop.

"So, before actually making a comment on performance I would rather see all the data," he said.

Verstappen and Bottas had made contact when the former pulled off an aggressive move for third place a few laps after the Finn went off at Turn 8, and Bottas said this left his W09 with "some floor damage".

He pitted for the second time soon after the incident occurred, but would continue to lose time after rejoining the track on fresher tyres and ended up 48-seconds behind race-winner Hamilton.

After coming off worse in the Verstappen clash, Bottas nonetheless took no issue with the Dutchman's driving.

"It's just racing. We both wanted to gain the position," he said.

"Yeah, we did touch, I was the one who lost there as I lost the position and also I had floor damage and we had to do a pitstop also in the end.

"But for me it was racing."

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