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F1 Italian GP: Bottas: P6 was best but racing Hamilton hurt pace

Valtteri Bottas feels defending against Lewis Hamilton during the opening stages compromised his early race pace but was content with sixth.
Valtteri Bottas feels defending against Lewis Hamilton during the opening stages of the Italian Grand Prix compromised his early race pace but says his sixth place finish was the maximum he could achieve for Williams.

The Finnish driver found himself up to fourth after Hamilton bogged down off the start line and defended sternly against the Mercedes driver until he eventually got up the inside at turn one at the start of lap 11.

Click here for full Italian GP race results from Monza

Despite spending the majority of the race in fifth Bottas was caught in the closing stages by Daniel Ricciardo who pulled off an impressive move up the inside at turn one before pulling away and leaving the Williams driver sixth at the chequered flag.

Bottas says he used too much tyre life in the opening stint defending from Hamilton which ultimately hit his strategy later on but felt there was little he could do to stop Ricciardo in the closing stages.

“I had to sacrifice the tyre life a little bit to do that, but of course you want to stay ahead, you want to stay in the race close to the Ferrari, so you have to go that way,” Bottas said. “I don't think there was more than 6th place available for us today.

“At least we are now in front of Force India in the championship, which is very good for us. In the end Daniel pulled a gap of more than five seconds, so there wasn't much more to do, really.”

Sixth place for Bottas, coupled with team-mate Felipe Massa's ninth, helped Williams retake fourth in the F1 world constructors championship from Force India and take a three-point advantage heading to Singapore.

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by Haydn Cobb



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