Valtteri Bottas says the race in Mexico was not a happy day for him because he had an incident with Daniel Ricciardo and after that, he stayed in the pit for too long, which led to the pole position turning into a nightmare.
The Finn started slowly from the best starting position, allowing Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to overtake him until the first corner of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez track. Setting to third place behind Verstappen and Hamilton, Bottas was hit by Ricciardo in corner 1, so the Mercedes driver went off the track and fell to the back positions.
After that, it was an extremely difficult race for Bottas because he couldn’t break through the grid and ended up in 15th place. Still, Valtteri managed to retain Mercedes ’leadership position in the constructors’ championship as he achieved the fastest lap of the race, held by race winner Max Verstappen.
"Yeah, (it was) very, very embarrassing and for me pretty compromised because of the incident in the first corner," Bottas said. "He [Ricciardo] really ruined my day today, but I'm sure he didn't make a collision on purpose.
It also compromised his race, but he was not ideal for my race today, "he added. "Then I got stuck behind a car that I couldn't overtake. I was also quite limited with the engine and the temperature of the tires, so I couldn't attack many laps in a row, so I had to go back and forth, and I couldn't find a way to progress.
Bottas was stuck for 40 laps behind Ricciardo after both drivers went to the pits and returned to the track. Speaking about the fight with Ricciardo, the Mercedes driver said: "Yes, it was embarrassing.
Apparently, they have the same engine as us, they have good speed on the line, and they defended well. I just couldn't find my way past him. " Valtteri was then invited to the pits for a new tire change near the end of the race to take the fastest lap from Verstappen which ensured Mercedes stay at the top of the constructors ’standings.
“Yes, it was hard to find a good movement frame for the fastest lap, in the end, it worked perfectly well with George, I actually had a DRS from him, even after corner number 3, so everything was in an attempt to find a backlog. “ Bad situation for Mercedes, but there is still time