Valtteri Bottas: It was my job to hold up Vettel in F1 Spanish GP

Valtteri Bottas insists it was his 'job' and 'duty' to hold Sebastian Vettel up in the middle of the Spanish Grand Prix to help Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas: It was my job to hold up Vettel in F1 Spanish GP

Bottas played a key role in the outcome of the Barcelona event as early race leader Vettel lost valuable seconds behind him, which helped Hamilton close the gap to his Ferrari rival even though he was on the slower medium-compound tyre at the time.

Vettel said after the race that he knew Mercedes would use Bottas to "block" him, and Bottas was happy to have played a role in his team taking another victory.

"I was doing everything I could to keep Sebastian behind and make him lose time, that's how it goes," explained Bottas.

"That was my job and mission at that point. But the pace difference was too big and eventually he got past.

"But I definitely helped the team today. I hope it made a bit of a difference and at least we managed as a team to grow the small points difference to Ferrari which is good.

"But it could have been a lot bigger today with both of us finishing strong."

Bottas eventually retired from the race with an engine failure, but before then his hopes of a good result had been dented after sustaining car damage in a first corner incident involving Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

Reflecting on the incident, Bottas felt there was nothing he could do to avoid the crash.

"The start was good, the getaway was nice and I was catching up pretty quickly on the guys in front, but this time there was nowhere to go really," he said.

"I was looking first to go left but there wasn't quite enough space.

"I tried to go inside because there was a gap initially, but then Sebastian closed it so I was stuck behind him.

"Going in to turn one I was trying to keep inside, obviously the guys on the outside always try to overtake you and it was unlucky that me and Kimi collided.

"It was just all a bit too tight and close, and a shame what happened to the guys after.

"But in racing when it's close sometimes you hit and that's how it goes.

"I was trying to keep my position and I felt there was no more space for two cars, so it was very close.

"After the contact I really struggled in the first stint.

"I should have finished on the podium so it's very disappointing, but we took a risk going to the old engine [after discovering a water leak in Friday practice].

"We knew it was running out of mileage but that was the only option we could have done to qualify, so that's life."

shares
comments
Ferrari to do Pirelli wet tyre test with 2015 Formula 1 car
Previous article

Ferrari to do Pirelli wet tyre test with 2015 Formula 1 car

Next article

The plan to fix F1's biggest flaw

The plan to fix F1's biggest flaw
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023