Bottas: It was 'game over' after 'strange' clutch issues at the start

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Valtteri Bottas concedes it was "game over" for his Spanish Grand Prix after a problematic start cost him the lead.

It's quite common that being on pole isn't always ideal in Barcelona because of the long run to Turn 1, and so it proved as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel pulled out either side of the Finn at the start.

Facing a pincer movement, Bottas had to back out and would drop to second behind his Mercedes teammate, where he would continue for the rest of the race.

"It’s honestly very annoying today. I lost it at the start and, looking in the mirror I can say it’s not my fault," he stated afterwards.

"I had some issues with the clutch, some vibrations, which I’ve never had before. That’s why I got away slow. I’m keen to find out what happened.

"There was a strange behaviour with the clutch, it was biting and releasing, biting and releasing, which I never felt before, so I lost it there."

The loss means Hamilton moved back ahead in the championship by seven points, having also claimed the fastest lap point, and Bottas was at least happy with another hat full of points.

"As a team, it's incredible, the fifth one-two in a row is really good," he noted.

"I got some good points, every point it’s going to count this year, so that’s good for sure. I’m just keen to find out why the start was so bad, why the issue happened.

"I was expecting the race to be kind of decided into the first corner. Even though you try for the opportunities, it was game over."

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