Fourteenth place in the Turkish Grand Prix is the worst result of Valtteri Bottas in the season. He talked about the incidents on the first lap that ruined his race.
Question In the race, your car was turned around six times. What is the reason?
Valtteri Bottas: Yes, the last race was a real disaster. In the first corner the car turned around when I tried to avoid a collision with Renault. On the same lap there was an incident in the ninth turn, after which something happened to the handling. On straight lines, the car pulled to the left, and in turns it behaved unstably.
Terrible race. I had nothing to lose, so I attacked as best I could – hence the mistakes. Besides, it was not easy for me because of the damage. Perhaps this is one of the most difficult races in my career in Formula 1. And one of the worst results.
Question: Did you damage the car in the ninth turn? Who are you facing?
Valtteri Bottas: After turning in the first corner, I rolled back to the last place, but quickly caught up with the peloton. To the eighth turn I was driving behind a group of cars and thought that in the ninth turn I could overtake. But then I blocked the wheels. There was much more water on the inside radius of Turn 9 than I expected — visibility was poor. I really wanted to win back – perhaps I overestimated my capabilities. I blocked the wheels and crashed into one of the Renault cars.
Q: You often made mistakes in past races – in Imola you flew off the track, in Turkey you made several turns. Is this due to the pressure from the title fight?
Valtteri Bottas: In Imola, I was losing nine-tenths on a circle due to damage to the car, and I had to try to keep the position. In such situations, incidents are possible. And in Turkey, everything went wrong in the first 200 meters. I knew that if I could not win back quickly, I would not have a chance. I tried to recoup and attacked too much, despite the damage to the car.
Of course, in the next races I will no longer feel such pressure – let’s see what role it plays. I am looking forward to the remaining races and want to succeed in them. But mostly I’m already focused on the next season.
Q: Were you surprised when Lewis won the race?
Valtteri Bottas: No. I made too many mistakes and wasted a lot of time with reversals. When the track started to dry up, the car began to work more efficiently, I felt it too. Lewis performed well and never made a mistake. But it didn’t surprise me. I knew he wanted to win the title that way.