Valtteri Bottas revealed his Bahrain Grand Prix was compromised by a plastic bag getting stuck in his front wing, hampering the performance of his Mercedes. Bottas followed Lewis Hamilton home in second, but was never in contention to repeat his Melbourne heroics.
Ferrari's misfortune benefitted Mercedes as Sebastian Vettel spun out of second place while battling Hamilton and Charles Leclerc suffered a power outage as he cruised towards a likely maiden F1 race win.
With luck having deserted him for large parts of a winless 2018, Bottas was certainly not complaining to see fortune favour him this time around.
"It was extremely difficult to keep the rhythm during the race," said Bottas.
"But there were some good battles, and so on, I managed to save the engine at some point, when there was no threat from behind and a big gap for those in front.
"It was a tough race for Charles, but he did a great job all weekend and I'm sure his time will come. We're leaving Bahrain with lots of points but also a lot of work to do for China."
"I also had something like a plastic bag stuck on my front wing, costing performance. It was not the perfect race but, in the end, luck was on our side and we'll definitively take it, especially me, after the bad luck from last year."
Bottas' 18-point haul keeps him top of the drivers' championship after two races, just ahead of Hamilton by virtue of his fastest lap bonus from Australia.
"They are points that will count at the end of the championship," added the Finn. "Obviously now, at this point, it doesn't really matter much, but what matters is at the end of the championship. And we've seen many championships finishing with very small margins.
"Today that was a bit out of reach because with the strong pace of Ferrari they got it, but for sure when there will be the opportunity, it's going to be important.
"Anyway, even though it felt like a super-difficult race, I'm happy to be getting this amount of points because, in the end, consistency is going to be the key."
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