Valtteri Bottas admits having to take a continued defensive approach in Formula 1 races is “getting annoying” following the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Bottas has often found himself driving in a defensive mode this season and Sunday’s race in Brazil proved to be another example, as he held up the Red Bull and Ferrari duo in the early stages.

Having jumped Sebastian Vettel at the start, Bottas began to fall away from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton as his focus turned to trying to keep Max Verstappen and the Ferrari’s at bay.

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Verstappen quickly cleared the Mercedes driver but the Ferraris and Daniel Ricciardo found overtaking less straightforward. The Finn ultimately finished a distant fifth having made a second stop after Ricciardo eventually got past.

“Sometimes it was getting annoying because I had to do it so many times,” Bottas replied when asked if he felt he is becoming the toughest driver to pass in F1.

“I was trying to defend and you have to compromise, how much you defend, how much you sacrifice the next straight or corner.

“I tried, but in the end, it was just a matter of time that the people got through.

“For sure it could have been a lot better,” he added. “Just the first stint, struggled with some overheating and in the second stint I had blistering on the rears.

“So once the blistering started, my pace was a little bit slow, and once Daniel [Ricciardo] got through, we had a free pit stop behind so that’s why we stopped, to minimise the risk.

“In the end it was just bringing it home.”

His fifth place, along with a 10th win of the season for Hamilton, ensured Mercedes claimed its fifth consecutive constructors’ world championship victory.

“Every single team member really deserves it,” Bottas said.

“Everyone has been working super hard to make it happen and it’s impressive, what we’ve been able to do as a team.

“We’ve always kept it together under pressure. I think that was the main thing this season, so a big congrats and a big thanks to everyone in team.

“Every year it gets even tougher, it’s so many championships now in a row, it’s not going to get any easier next year, but I think that’s what motivates us.

“I think the key thing is we’ve minimised all the mistakes this year, we’ve kept united, the team spirit is only getting better. May that continue for long.”

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