Valtteri Bottas has said circumstances outside of his control ensured a slow getaway in Spain and a second place finish at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Bottas was hoping to extend his World Championship lead after a blistering pole lap on Saturday, but a poor start opened the door to Lewis Hamilton to sail on through and take back control at the top of the standings.
Once the Turn 1 move was completed, Bottas could only cruise along behind his team-mate and do his bit to claim another maximum haul of points for the Silver Arrows.
“It is really impressive what we are doing as a team so for that hats off to everyone back at the factory,” Bottas said back in the paddock after a fifth consecutive 1-2 finish for Mercedes.
“But it is honestly very annoying today. I lost it at the start. I can look in the mirror and say it’s not my fault. I had some issue with the clutch, some vibration at the start which I have never had before.
“It was releasing, biting, releasing, biting and I’ve not felt that.
“That’s why the getaway was slow and I’m keen to find out what happened.”
“I know that it’s quite a lot easier at the front. You can control the pace.
We don’t know how this man lives his life, unfortunately.
— Has Bottas had his porridge today? (@ValtteriPorrid1) May 12, 2019
Asked why Hamilton was able to have the quicker pace throughout on race day, Bottas replied: “When you’re behind you’re trying to keep up with the dirty air and on this kind of track you are sliding around.
“I was expecting the race to be decided after the first corner. You try to wait for the opportunities but it was game over.”