Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was fine with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen’s driving despite their coming together in the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi GP clash.
The two were jostling for the final place on the podium at Yas Marina with Bottas having already lost out to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The Finn put up a brave fight but eventually lost out to Verstappen when the two even touched in the left-hander.
The Finn also had an off moment which then forced Mercedes to opt for a second stop as he finished fifth – even in the standings. “It’s just racing,” said Bottas when asked by FormulaRapida.net of the incident. “We both wanted to gain the position.
“Yeah, we did touch, I was the one who lost there, as I lost the position and also I had floor damage and we had to do a pitstop also in the end. But for me it was racing and fun.” Even though Bottas came out worse but he played it down to as racing.
The overtake was indeed special as Bottas had the inside line as Verstappen then had to barge his way in. “He was defending completely on the inside, so I knew I couldn’t get there,” started Verstappen.
“I made sure that I had a wide line into the corner and he went a bit wide as well, so it was like perfect to go around and I think he didn’t see me in the left and so he drove me into my wheel. But very happy to get past.
“It was quite crucial, I had Daniel behind me with a lot new tyres coming, so I had to get past. It was good, I enjoyed the battle and especially coming from ninth, I had to remain calm and find my way through.”
The Finn was far from happy from his performance and admitted to making mistakes in the race as well for losing out to both Vettel and Verstappen in the end. “I had initially a lock-up into Turn 5, when Sebastian got close, and then he got DRS and overtook me.
“I thought it was purely my mistake – which in the end it was – but the wind suddenly turned around, so for the wind I would’ve had to brake a bit earlier. Fair enough. At the same time, the team could find on the rear right brake some vibration and some issue.
“So sometimes the front brakes had to work harder than the rear brakes to compensate and that meant there were sudden lock-ups. Same thing happened when I went straight [at Turn 8] and Verstappen got close.
“So we still need to investigate what was exactly the issue with the brakes,” he said. After starting the season well, Bottas eventually dropped to fifth in the standings with only Daniel Ricciardo among the top runners behind him.