Valtteri Bottas blames painted grid markings for losing pole position

‘I got some wheel spin as I went over the white line’: Valtteri Bottas blames painted grid markings for losing pole position on the first corner to Lewis Hamilton in the Chinese Grand Prix

  • Valtteri Bottas had an unusual excuse for losing pole position in the Chinese GP 
  • Bottas said he had lost time because his car had struggled for grip on grid marks 
  • He qualified first but by the first corner was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton 

Valtteri Bottas had an unusual excuse for losing pole position at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix – the grid markings on the track. 

The Finn qualified first in Shanghai, but lost position to Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton on the first corner and never looked likely to win his place back. 

After the race, Bottas said he had lost crucial time because his car had struggled for grip on the white paint on the home straight.

Valtteri Bottas had an unusual excuse for losing pole position at the start of the Chinese GP

Valtteri Bottas had an unusual excuse for losing pole position at the start of the Chinese GP

Bottas said he had lost crucial time because his car had struggled for grip on the grid markings

Bottas said he had lost crucial time because his car had struggled for grip on the grid markings

Bottas said: ‘I think I lost it in the start, honestly. Otherwise the car was feeling okay and the pace was similar. In the first stint, in the dirty air, I couldn’t follow.

‘It was a shame about the start. I got some wheel spin as I went over the white line, the start-finish line, which is immediately after my box, so I lost it there.’ 

Bottas held on to second place, fending off the challenge of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to ensure a third Mercedes one-two finish in as many Grands Prix in 2019.

Bottas qualified first in Shanghai, but by the first corner had been overtaken by Lewis Hamilton

Bottas qualified first in Shanghai, but by the first corner had been overtaken by Lewis Hamilton

Now second to Hamilton in the drivers’ standings, Bottas praised Mercedes for putting him and his team mate in such a strong early position.

He said: ‘It is small details but it is early days in the season, things are looking good. I am really proud for the team we’ve done three perfect weekends so far that is very good.’ 

Bottas now has 62 points in the standings, six behind Hamilton but well ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third place, with 39. 

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