Valtteri Bottas had plastic bag stuck in front wing in Bahrain GP

Formula 1 championship leader Valtteri Bottas has revealed a plastic bag getting stuck in his front wing contributed to a "super difficult" Bahrain Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas had plastic bag stuck in front wing in Bahrain GP

Bottas inherited second place to complete a shock Mercedes one-two in Bahrain, where Ferrari had dominated before its race imploded with a spin for Sebastian Vettel and engine cylinder problem for Charles Leclerc.

Australian GP winner Bottas admitted he struggled for race pace this time after slipping back from a superb first lap that launched him from fourth to second. He then dropped back behind Leclerc and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the start of the second lap.

"I think the wind caught me up a bit, I braked a bit too late into Turn 1, trying to keep my position, and I lost two places," Bottas said.

"Ferrari, ultimately, was very, very strong again. During the times with the wind I ended up doing some mistakes, like I think some other drivers did as well.

"It was extremely difficult to keep the rhythm.

"I managed to save the engine at some point when there was no threat from behind and a big gap in front.

"Also, I had a plastic bag stuck on my front wing at some point, which was costing performance, so not the perfect race."

Bottas has begun the season with a win and second place, and he said he would "definitely take" his fortunate podium in Bahrain after starting his 2018 campaign with such bad luck.

He also pointed to the value of the fastest lap he scored on his way to winning the Australian GP season opener, which is currently the difference between himself and Hamilton at the top of the championship.

"They are points that will count at the end of the championship," he said.

"Obviously, now, at this point, it doesn't matter much but what matters is at the end of the championship and we've seen many championships finishing with very small margins.

"[In Bahrain] it was a bit out of reach with the strong pace of Ferrari, they got it, but while there is this opportunity it's going to be important.

"Anyway, even though it felt a super-difficult race, I'm happy to be getting this amount of points, because in the end, consistency is going to be the key."

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