Valtteri Bottas says he is frustrated he was ultimately unable to take victory at Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix after turning in a late challenge.

Bottas ran third for much of the race but a later pit stop compared to leaders Charles Leclerc and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton brought him into contention in the closing stages.

He made the most of his fresher rubber to close onto the pair as they squabbled for the race lead, before a mistake from Hamilton under braking at Turn 1 enabled Bottas into second place.

The Finn got within DRS range of Leclerc but struggled to pass the Ferrari driver along the main straight, just as Hamilton had struggled to do so earlier on. Bottas ultimately crossed the line just 0.8s behind Leclerc to claim his best result since the British Grand Prix.

“We tried everything we could today, as a team, and personally I was doing everything I could for the win,” Bottas said.

“For sure it’s annoying because it’s so close, finishing less than one second, but, at least, I tried everything I could and we did try.  

“The tricky bit was that they were so quick on the straights and that required for us to be so close on the corners that it was not really possible to follow.

“I was also getting issues with front brakes locking up, for getting so close to the car ahead so I was pushing hard.

“What can I say? I was just not good enough, but otherwise it was a good race, good fun and I really enjoyed it, fighting for the win.

“The pace was good enough, especially in the second stint.”

Bottas gained two points on Hamilton in the drivers’ championship after finishing ahead of his teammate for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix in June, though he remains 63 points adrift with seven races to go. 



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