Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas.

Valtteri Bottas makes admission regarding his job at Spanish GP

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Valtteri Bottas was a key figure during the Spanish Grand Prix as the Finn held Sebastian Vettel in the middle of the race in order to help Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton close the gap on the German driver. 

Having taken an early lead during the race, Vettel lost valuable seconds behind Bottas at Barcelona. 

The drivers' championship leader claimed after the race that he knew Mercedes would attempt to block him, with Bottas having being happy to help his team despite having little chance of success in the race himself.

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The Finnish driver said: "I was doing everything I could to keep Sebastian behind and make him lose time, that's how it goes.

"That was my job and mission at that point. But the pace difference was too big and eventually he got past.

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"But I definitely helped the team. I hope it made a bit of a difference and at least we managed as a team to grow the small points difference to Ferrari which is good.

"But it could have been a lot bigger today with both of us finishing strong."

Bottas was forced to retire due to an engine failure, with the 27-year-old suffering car damage following an incident with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen in the first corner which dented his chances of a decent result. 

"The start was good, the getaway was nice and I was catching up pretty quickly on the guys in front, but this time there was nowhere to go really," Bottas reflected on the collision. 

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"I was looking first to go left but there wasn't quite enough space. I tried to go inside because there was a gap initially, but then Sebastian closed it so I was stuck behind him.

"Going in to turn one I was trying to keep inside, obviously the guys on the outside always try to overtake you and it was unlucky that me and Kimi collided.

"It was just all a bit too tight and close, and a shame what happened to the guys after. But in racing when it's close sometimes you hit and that's how it goes. I was trying to keep my position and I felt there was no more space for two cars, so it was very close.

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"After the contact I really struggled in the first stint. I should have finished on the podium so it's very disappointing, but we took a risk going to the old engine [after discovering a water leak in Friday practice].

"We knew it was running out of mileage but that was the only option we could have done to qualify, so that's life."

Bottas is currently third in the standings, sitting behind Hamilton and Vettel on 63 points after five races.

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