Valtteri Bottas has conceded that he "could have done a better job" to avoid clashing with Formula 1 rivals Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Bottas clipped Raikkonen on the run to Turn 1 in Barcelona, sending the Ferrari driver into the path of Max Verstappen. The incident eliminated both Raikkonen and Verstappen on the spot, while Bottas ultimately retired later in the race due to an engine failure.

"I could have done a better job there," Bottas admitted on Wednesday ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. "On the braking point for Turn 1, I kind of lost the reference point being so close to Sebastian [Vettel].

"I wasn't reading the situation correctly and initially I braked too early, then I released the brakes and that created an opportunity for Kimi, on the outside, to come there. But I just run out of space on the inside and it was quite unfortunate.

"Three cars side by side can be tight, so I think it was definitely a racing incident. Personally I could have braked later but that's what happened. The race, for me wasn't decided there, but for them it was."

The stewards agreed with Bottas' belief that it was a racing incident, as did Verstappen, who called it "unlucky".

"Valtteri braked a bit early and then realized oh the other guys on the outside are going to overtake me, so he rolled in," the Red Bull driver explained.

"He touched Kimi and I was a bit like a passenger. I was just following Kimi's line and then suddenly I saw the Ferrari smashing into me. I was like, what happened there?

"And on the replay you could clearly see what happened. Also Kimi was a bit of a passenger after the touch."



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