Valtteri Bottas said he did not know “whether to laugh or cry” after a luckless French Grand Prix he felt summed up his 2018 Formula 1 season so far. 

Bottas was turned around in a collision with Sebastian Vettel at Turn 1 and suffered a puncture, which in turn led to floor damage that hampered the remainder of his race.

Vettel was handed a five-second time penalty for the incident but recovered to fifth, while Bottas struggled to seventh. The result saw the Finn drop behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to fourth place in the championship standings. 

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“I don’t know if I should laugh or cry after this race but I guess it’s better to laugh,” Bottas said. “I think today sums my season so far, it was really not my day.”

“Everything seemed to go against me today. I was hit in Turn 1, got a puncture. That made quite a bit of damage in the floor, which made it quite difficult to comeback through, but at least we got some points.”

Bottas revealed the true extent of the damage to his W09, which caused him to lose significant damage and left him fighting to keep control of his car. 

“It was definitively difficult to drive,” he explained. “I could feel lack of rear end grip and that didn’t make it any easier to come back through the field. The floor was damaged by the punctured tyre flapping around.

“It was quite snappy and made it quite difficult. I was sliding around and just couldn’t go any faster, because we had lost quite a lot of downforce from the damage.”

Bottas also suffered a problem during his second pit-stop when Mercedes’ rear-jack appeared to fail, costing him further valuable time. 

“There was something in the rear where there seemed to be an issue, so it was taking quite long. Given how close I was to Magnussen in the end, maybe we lost one position with that."

When asked if he could take any positives from the race, Bottas replied: “Maybe tomorrow I’ll see some positives, but not at the moment.”

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