Valtteri Bottas has revealed he was close to jumping the start of Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix as he made yet another slow getaway on the opening lap.

Bottas narrowly missed on pole position as he was beaten by Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying by 0.069s.

The Finn continued his run of slow starts from second on the grid, dropping behind the McLaren of Carlos Sainz into Turn 1.

When asked about his poor start, Bottas admitted he nearly jumped it - as he did in Hungary, where he avoided a penalty on that occasion because he was not judged to have moved too soon.

“Yes, I had an issue with the actual reaction to the lights,” Bottas said. “We’ve been playing around with the way we do practicing, the protocol we use. We’ve changed that a bit and I feel that has been a disturbance, sometimes, to the actual starts. It has not really been representative in the starts.

“I cannot go into much more detail but from my side I nearly went before the lights, but luckily not as much as in one of the first races – I can’t remember which one – so I was a bit late reacting to the lights. Just things still to work on. The actual launch, after we drop the clutch, is actually fine and we’ve made good progress but just getting the consistency in the reaction to the lights, there’s work to do.”

Bottas’ slow start was compounded by Lando Norris overtaking him around the outside into the second chicane, then he lost out to Daniel Ricciardo into the Ascari chicane on the opening lap.

Explaining what happened on Lap 1 and his cries of a puncture over team radio, Bottas said: “We just had a debrief and there was nothing from the car that we could see for now, maybe later. Just from my side I had two contacts: I had one in Turn 2 and then a slightly bigger one in Turn 5, but still not like a massive contact.

“In Turn 6 I was on the outside and had quite a bit of understeer, then in Turn 7 I had quite a bit of understeer that it felt like a puncture. Then, out of Turn 7, the car was pulling a little bit to the right and to the left, so it didn’t feel right, so I was convinced I had a puncture coming into Turn 8.

“That’s why I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go straight in Turn 8, so I braked early, but then it actually kind of recovered and it was fine. So, I’m not sure if it was something on the tyre, if something was wrong with the car because of the contact. I haven’t heard anything yet about the corner weights but it felt really odd, so a very, very messy first lap.''

Bottas eventually finished the race in fifth, two places ahead of Hamilton after he picked up a 10-second stop-go penalty for entering the pits while the pit lane was closed.

Bottas trails Hamilton by 47 points in the drivers' championship.