Valtteri Bottas rues late-race misfortune to miss out on P5 in Miami

Valtteri Bottas in Miami

Valtteri Bottas has said that he felt he could have achieved a fifth-place finish at the Miami Grand Prix had the late Safety Car not been called and without his mistake.

The Alfa Romeo driver has had a stellar campaign so far for the team since making the switch from Mercedes, and he has regularly scored good points.

Indeed, he recorded a P7 on Sunday afternoon in Miami, but it could well have been as good as fifth for him had things fallen his way in the closing stages.

He’d done a good job of keeping former team-mate Lewis Hamilton at bay in the Mercedes for the duration of the Grand Prix, but a late Safety Car allowed the other Mercedes of George Russell on fresh tyres to close up behind the pair of them.

Indeed, in the final few laps, Bottas had to up the pace to try and keep both Mercs behind him and, amid that, he ran a little wide onto the dirty part of the final corner at the Miami circuit and that let both W13s through.

Valtteri Bottas drives in Miami
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 07: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Alfa Romeo F1 C42 Ferrari on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 07, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Seventh it was in the end for the Finn, then, and he reflected on a missed opportunity when speaking to the official F1 website post-race:

“We were penalised by the timing of the Safety Car,” Bottas said.

“I was managing the gap over Lewis and P5 would have been possible, but once the race was neutralised, the gap was gone and George was on fresh tyres behind us, so keeping this place would have been difficult.

“I was trying to brake late to defend my position, overshot the braking point slightly and sadly the nature of the track here means that if you go off the line a little and into the dirt, you’re off and you hit the wall.

“I was lucky nothing broke on the car and I could continue.”

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