Valtteri Bottas admits he simply didn’t have the pace to contend with Lewis Hamilton at the Portuguese Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Despite making a slow start, Bottas managed to get ahead of Max Verstappen into Turn 2 and then Lewis Hamilton into Turn 8 on the opening lap.

It was short-lived as once Hamilton got comfortable with the track conditions, he overtook the Finn several laps later into Turn 1 with the use of DRS.

Bottas eventually finished the race over 25s behind Hamilton - who claimed a record 92nd F1 victory, surpassing Michael Schumacher’s win tally.

“Yes, the opening lap was pretty good, there was a bit of drizzle, which made it a bit tricky,” Bottas said. “Obviously, some cars from behind, on the Soft tyre, had the upper hand, but I was pretty pleased I could get the lead. But, to be honest, after that, I just had no pace today, I don’t understand why, but no pace…

“I tried to defend but at the rate he was going to close there was nothing really I could do. Like I said, I have no idea why I didn’t have the pace today. Pushing hard but should have gone faster.”

Bottas had requested soft tyres for his second stint over team radio, but Mercedes fitted hards to ensure both cars were on the same compound.

Bottas doubts a switch to softs would have aided him in his fight with Hamilton.

“I was hoping to extend the first stint a bit and go for the softs at the end, but I don’t think it would have made any difference to the result today,” Bottas added.

 

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