SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Valtteri Bottas admits a poor start cost him victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix after he finished second to Sebastian Vettel at Interlagos.
Bottas started from pole position on Sunday but lost first place to Vettel in Turn 1 as the Ferrari driver made a lunge to the inside. From that point onwards, Vettel never looked back and maintained a big enough gap over Bottas to prevent a fightback.
"It was in the start that we lost the race, which is unfortunate," Bottas said. "The issue for me was the initial wheel spin, as soon as I started to released the clutch I broke the traction and got wheel spin, so that's why I had a poor getaway.
"I was trying to cover the inside but, honestly, looking in the mirror I could only see Kimi [Raikkonen in third] behind, I couldn't see Seb anywhere. I was kind of guessing he could be shooting from the inside and so he did it. There's was nothing to do. He did a better start and was on the inside, so that was unfortunate."
"With a good start it would have been possible to keep the lead because I think the pace of our car was pretty similar between us today, there wasn't much of a difference. Being first out of Turn 1 would have made a very different race. But that's 'if and if' ... he did a better start and that's it."
Bottas is now 22 points off Vettel for second place in the championship with one race remaining. The Mercedes driver had hoped to snatch second place at the final two races, but now he will need victory in Abu Dhabi with Vettel failing to score.
"I'm definitively disappointed after the good day we had yesterday and it's also not so good for me on the battle we have for second place in the championship. It' looks quite ugly now and it will take a miracle in Abu Dhabi."