Valtteri Bottas has bemoaned the “strange behaviour” of his Mercedes in the opening stages of the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday after he surrendered first position to Lewis Hamilton almost immediately, complaining of clutch issues from the starting line which cost him the win.
The Finn was in superb form in qualifying on Saturday and secured his third pole position in a row, but allowed his team-mate a small window to overtake shortly after Lights Out, with Sebastian Vettel also in the mix to his left.
“Yeah, it was pretty tight, but I lost it at the start,” Bottas said of the initial battle between himself, Hamilton, and Vettel.
“There was some strange behaviour on the clutch. It was like, biting-releasing, biting-releasing, which I've never felt before. So, I lost it there.”
Mercedes made history following the conclusion of the race as they secured their fifth one-two finish in a row since the start of the 2019 season, and although Bottas is proud of the achievement, his mind at the moment is focusing on the technical issue with his car which he believed ultimately saw him fail to win in Barcelona.
“Well, as a team, it's incredible,” he added.
“The fifth one-two in a row is really good. It got some good points and every single point is going to count this year. So that's good, for sure, but I'm just keen to find out why the start was so bad and why the issue happened.”
After Hamilton’s routine victory, Bottas is now seven points adrift of his Mercedes colleague in the driver’s championship.