Valtteri Bottas says he was completely unsighted when he ran over debris which wrecked his shot at victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver produced the perfect getaway from the safety car restart triggered by the Red Bull pair crashing into each other, with Sebastian Vettel out-braking at Turn 1 to drop from second to fifth place, which saw Bottas look a sure bet to take the win with four laps to go.

But a lap later disaster struck the Finnish driver as he ran over some debris with his Mercedes which instantly punctured his right-rear tyre and forced him to stop on track.

Bottas says he was completely unsighted from any debris on track and put his retirement down to pure bad luck.

“It’s difficult to say anything really. Everyone saw what happened, so it’s just unfortunate and unlucky,” Bottas said. “I will get through. You always need to go through difficulties, that’s part of racing but at the moment it’s really painful.

“This track is difficult, street circuits in general when there are crashes. So it’s always going to be an issue, and this time I was unlucky and I have no idea at any point if I ran at any debris, I didn’t see anything, I didn’t feel anything. So just very, very unlucky.”

With Bottas seeing victory snatched away by the puncture, his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton claimed an unlikely win at the Baku City Circuit to lead the Mercedes charge and with it take the F1 world championship lead from Vettel.

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