Vettel lost 'an awful lot of time' behind Bottas in F1 Spanish GP

Sebastian Vettel feels he lost "an awful lot of time" when Mercedes used Valtteri Bottas to "block" him during his Spanish Grand Prix battle with Lewis Hamilton

Vettel lost 'an awful lot of time' behind Bottas in F1 Spanish GP

Though Vettel grabbed the lead from polesitter Hamilton at the start at Barcelona, the Mercedes emerged triumphant after a close on-track battle in the final stint.

Vettel felt he twice lost key advantages to Hamilton - first when he was held up behind temporary leader Bottas as the Finn ran much longer in his first stint than the other frontrunners, and later when Hamilton made his final pitstop just as a virtual safety car period was ending.

"I am not happy, it [the win] was there," said Vettel.

"Lewis had the luxury to stay out and choose a different tyre

"With Valtteri I was catching him and I knew they wouldn't pit him.

"He was all over the place with the tyres, so they used him a bit to block me."

Vettel eventually made it past Bottas with a bold move into the first corner.

"He still somehow managed to get a decent exit [from the chicane] so I couldn't do it first time," said Vettel.

"Second time I thought I had to find a way even if it was on the grass.

"It was really close, I faked it on the inside, then went back on the outside and inside again, but nearly lost the car as I had DRS open - but it worked.

"I looked down and I had lost an awful lot of time."

He then rebuilt a margin when on soft tyres in the middle stint while Hamilton was on mediums, but found that gap gone when they made their final stops and took the opposite tyres.

Hamilton had pitted just as a virtual safety car period for Stoffel Vandoorne's damaged McLaren was ending, helping him gain some time before the race was back to full racing conditions.

"I don't know what happened in the last stint," said Vettel.

"When I came out of the pits I was surprised it was close because I thought I had eight seconds in hand.

"That could have brought a cushion."

Vettel resisted Hamilton's initial attack on his out-lap but was overtaken around the outside into the first corner not long afterwards.

"I thought it would be more difficult for him the longer he tried but then I had no tow [from backmarkers] and he sailed past," said Vettel.

"He managed a really good exit and was really quick in last sector and managed to win the race.

"Well done to him, he won it fair and square and you can't take it away from him."

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