Bottas “lost gear sync at the start” of F1 Mexico GP as he reflects on a tough Sunday

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Amidst tough conditions, a DRS train behind both Alpine cars, and a clash with Lance Stroll, Valtteri Bottas left Mexico City with no points, finishing in P15 after a 5-second penalty.

With AlphaTauri having an impressive performance and Daniel Ricciardo finishing P7, this means that Alfa Romeo is now tied with them for 8th and 9th in the Constructors’ Championship, with Alfa Romeo sitting in P9 based on their lower highest finishing positon, potentially leaving millions of dollars on the table.

Bottas started P9 but lost places to Hülkenberg, Zhou, Gasly and Albon on the first lap and explained how he lost gear sync at the first start, compromising his race massively.

“The first one I lost the gear sync at the start for some reason, so it meant every upshift I was losing ground which is not great.”

Bottas pitted from P10 just two laps before the red flag was shown for Kevin Magnussen’s big crash. He found himself down in P16 for the restart.

“Then we stopped one lap before the safety car, which is kind of the usual, not so lucky.

Although he gained three spots at the second standing start, the Finn got stuck in a DRS train behind Nico Hülkenberg and couldn’t find a way past the Alpines of Gasly and Ocon. The 10-time Grand Prix winner conceded he had no chance to make a pass because of this.

“Second restart was good but then it was a bit of a train. I was behind the Alpines and then eventually got crashed with Stroll, which was kind of the last hit.

“No chance [to pass Gasly]. It was so tricky, just getting the traction out of the last corner and when the car ahead has DRS, not much you can do.

“I had some brake overheating issues as well. I guess I wasn’t the only one, but it didn’t make it easier.”

Photo credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

He then went to talk about his collision with Lance Stroll. The Canadian had to retire, and Bottas received a 5 second penalty as a result of the collision to complete a miserable day.

Bottas agreed with Stroll that it was a racing incident.

“Yeah, it’s just in turn 14 there was no space for 2 cars, obviously he did keep it pretty tight but I just couldn’t really disappear, I don’t know if it was a racing incident, but I lost points, obviously it’s the last chance for points.”

With all the negativity of Sunday, Bottas was positive looking to the race in Brazil this weekend.

“What was good this weekend was that we definitely had better pace. I think today didn’t really reflect what we could’ve had. But yesterday was strong in terms of comparing to other races. Hopefully the same trend in Brazil.”