Valtteri Bottas says it was a case of “survival” during the Turkish F1 Grand Prix as he endured a torrid race.

Bottas spun on the opening lap in Turkey and spun on at least four more occasions throughout the remaining 57 laps.

He was lapped by eventual race winner and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, ultimately classifying 14th.

Bottas revealed his contact with Esteban Ocon on the opening lap disrupted the handling of his Mercedes explaining his struggles for the remainder of the race.

“That was a long race, such a long day,” Bottas said. “Obviously, the first lap everything went wrong. I don’t know if it was Daniel or someone in the first corner spinning and I was avoiding them and spun as well.

“I had a contact in Turn 9 and the car was not the same anymore and I struggled to stay on track. I couldn’t stay on track. The steering wheel was like this and there was a piece missing from the front wing. It was a survival and not good.”

Going into this weekend, Bottas had to outscore teammate Lewis Hamilton by eight points or more to take the title fight in Bahrain.

With the Finn failing to finish in the points, Hamilton was ensured of a seventh title triumph.

When asked about Hamilton winning his seventh drivers’ crown, Bottas said: “He deserves it fully. He was better of us this year overall on average. He fully deserves it so really good for him but I will try to beat him next year.”

With three rounds remaining, Bottas sits 27 points clear of Max Verstappen in the race for second place in the championship.




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