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Bottas reveals details of "very, very messy first lap" in chaotic Italian GP

Bottas reveals details of "very, very messy first lap" in chaotic Italian GP

F1 News

Bottas reveals details of "very, very messy first lap" in chaotic Italian GP

Bottas reveals details of "very, very messy first lap" in chaotic Italian GP
Ian Parkes

Valtteri Bottas has revealed that another startline problem was the catalyst for his "very, very messy first lap" at the Italian Grand Prix.

Once the five red lights disappeared at Monza, Bottas was slow away and after starting second behind polesitter and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, had plummeted to sixth by the end of the opening lap.

The Finn encountered another start issue, as was the case in Hungary where he was almost penalised for a jump start after being distracted by lights on his dash, only to recover with a fraction of a second to spare.

On this occasion, Bottas said: "I had an issue with the reaction to the lights. We've been playing around with the way we do start practising, and the protocol we do it.

"We've changed that a bit and I feel like there has been some disturbance sometimes to the actual starts and just not being fully representative to the actual starts.

"I can't go much more into detail but it is from my side. I nearly went before the lights but not as much as...[in Hungary] and then for the actual start I was a bit late.

"There are things to still work on. Kind of the launch itself, that part is fine, we've made good progress, but just getting that consistency for the reaction to the start lights, there's work to do."

That start meant McLaren's Carlos Sainz was able to make his way past on the run down to Turn One, through which Bottas was then attacked by the Spaniard's team-mate Lando Norris, twice making contact with the Briton.

As the lap unfolded, Norris, Racing Point's Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo in his Renault all passed Bottas, leaving him to believe he had sustained a puncture such was the feeling he obtained from the car.

Explaining further, Bottas said: "[There is] Nothing from the car we can see, for now, that will be later, but from my side, I had two contacts - one in Turn Two, and then a slightly bigger one in Turn Five, but not like a massive contact.

"Into Turn Six I was on the outside and I had quite a bit of understeer, and then Turn Seven I had like a pretty big understeer that felt like a puncture. Out of Turn Seven, it was pulling a bit to the right and to the left, and it didn't feel right.

"I was convinced I had a puncture on the run in to Turn Eight, and from Turn Eight I wanted to make sure I wasn't going straight so I lifted early, but then actually it recovered and it was fine.

"I'm not sure if I picked up something from the tyre or something was wrong with the contact. I've not heard but it felt odd. it was a very very messy first lap."

Bottas went on to finish fifth in a race in which Hamilton received a 10-second stop-go penalty for an illegal pit stop, leading to the Briton finishing seventh.

Before you go...

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