Valtteri Bottas has described Lewis Hamilton’s performance at the Belgian Grand Prix as “faultless” after being beaten once again to the Formula 1 race win at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Finn started the race from second place but he was unable to get past his team-mate with the use of the tow down the Kemmel Straight on the opening lap.

A lackadaisical Safety Car restart from Bottas meant he wasn’t able to pressure Hamilton for the lead, meaning he remained second ahead of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen for the rest of the race.

 

 

After a run of difficult races, Bottas was happy not to have encountered any of the issues which compromised his recent races such as poor starts in Hungary and Spain, or a tyre puncture at the British Grand Prix.

“I think Lewis was faultless today and yesterday,” Bottas said. “There are more points for grabs next weekend. At least it was a clean weekend for me, with no big issues, but I definitely want more race wins, so I’m just happy there’s another opportunity next weekend.”

Reflecting on his best chance to pass Hamilton at the start, Bottas admitted he positioned his car perfectly meaning the Finn couldn’t make the most of the slipstream down into Les Combes on Lap 1.

“Of course the start would have been a big opportunity, but Lewis played it pretty well, he wasn’t too fast out of Turn One, so I couldn’t have a run to get him,” Bottas added. “Also, today, there was a tailwind going into Turn 5, so there was a bit less of a tow effect.

“The same thing on the re-start, I just couldn’t catch him on the straights, so those were the main opportunities. Otherwise, with the same car and Lewis driving pretty much mistake-free, it was tricky, but I tried.”

In the first stint, there was an interesting radio exchange between Bottas and his race engineer, Riccardo Musconi over the use of the overtake button.

Bottas: “We have one push, no?"

Musconi: "We do but we agreed not to use it against each other..."

Bottas: "I never heard that!"

When asked after the race about it, Bottas said: “Actually I had no clue about that, maybe they said it but I don’t recall it."