Bottas could only finish 12th in Baku, enduring arguably the most difficult race of his F1 career to date.

The Finn struggled to stay with Sebastian Vettel during the opening stint of the race, before dropping behind Lando Norris during the pit stop phase.

The Mercedes driver was running in tenth but dropped to 14th after struggling for tyre temperature on the Safety Car restart.

“Yes, it was quite similar feeling to yesterday’s and also Friday,” Bottas said. “Mainly the main issue was lack of pace, and just not being quick enough. Today, quite early on in the race I could see that I just couldn’t quite match the cars ahead, especially when the Aston Martin was ahead of me, I just couldn’t keep up. Still, I’m confused and it’s really weird.”

Bottas dismissed suggestions that the difference in rear wing configurations between Hamilton and his own car was the reason for his struggles.

“I think it’s something we need to review but we know it’s not going to be much, it’s going to be, maximum, one-tenth, so I don’t think that’s the key thing, because we started the weekend with the same wing and I’ve been behind Lewis all the time by quite a big margin,” Bottas added.

“I can’t remember having this kind of weekend before. Yes, there were a few weekends when I’ve had bad sessions but always, at some point, I had the pace. But this weekend it’s been all the time like this, and during the whole weekend I still haven’t understood what is wrong. I know myself where’s the limit and I cannot go faster than this, and then you’re still six, seven, eight tenths behind.

“It’s not normal, so it’s something we need to understand before going to France.”

 

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