Despite his heartbreak in the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas comically responded to the situation with which he was faced.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport’s Valtteri Bottas appeared to be well on his way to his fourth career Formula 1 victory and his first victory of the 2018 Formula 1 season in the 51-lap Azerbaijan Grand Prix on the 20-turn, 6.003-kilometer (3.73-mile) Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Bottas had inherited the lead of the race on lap 31 after Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who started the race from the pole position and led it up until that point, came into the pits.
When the safety car was deployed on lap 39 as a result of an accident between Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, Bottas took advantage of the situation and came into the pits before coming out ahead of Vettel as the race leader.
On the ensuing restart on lap 48, Vettel got a run on Bottas into turn one, but he locked up his tires and overshot the corner. He ended up losing a few positions as a result of this failed pass attempt, and Bottas pulled ahead from the rest of the field.
On lap 49 as Bottas made his way to turn one, he hit a piece of debris. As a result, his right rear tire sustained a puncture, which slowed his pace drastically and allowed all 13 of the 13 other drivers who remained in the race to pass him before he ultimately came to a stop and could not go any farther.
Lewis Hamilton, Bottas’ teammate, ended up winning the race for his first victory of the season. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished in second place ahead of Sahara Force India’s Sergio Perez in third and Vettel in fourth.
Had the right rear tire of Bottas’ car not sustained a puncture, he likely would have gone on to win the race. Instead of receiving zero championship points, he would have received 25 points and would be in the lead of the standings for the first time in his Formula 1 career with 65 points as opposed to sitting in fourth place with 40 points.
However, though clearly disappointed, Bottas handled the situation with class and added a bit of humor as well. Here is what he had to say about the matter, according to ESPN.
“Maybe 10 pints and we will be fine! I will get through. Of course you always need to go through difficulties, that’s part of racing. But at the moment it’s really painful.”
He stated the following when asked about debris.
“I think this track is difficult, street circuits in general when there are crashes. So it’s always going to be an issue, and this time I was unlucky and I have no idea at any point if I ran at any debris, I didn’t see anything, I didn’t feel anything. So yeah, just very, very unlucky.”
He also made the following post on Twitter.
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Will Valtteri Bottas bounce back after experiencing this heartbreak in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix? Will he end up being a contender to win the 2018 Formula 1 championship? The season is set to resume in just under two weeks on Sunday, May 13th with the Spanish Grand Prix, which is set to be broadcast live on ESPN2 starting at 9:00 am ET on that date.