Valtteri Bottas says the opening lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix was the worse start of his career.
The Finn, making his first start of the year after missing the Australian Grand Prix, lined up eighth on the grid at Sepang, but slipped to 14th by the end of the first lap after he was baulked through Turns 1 and 4.
The Williams racer battled his way back through the field to cross the line fifth, and admits it was a satisfying result given his poor start.
“My first lap was maybe the worst first lap I have ever had,” Bottas told reporters in Malaysia. “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a little bit of contact in Turn 1 and then in Turn 4 I was sandwiched, so I am not happy personally with what I did.
“After that the race was OK. I think we maximised the result, but we are missing race pace and quite a big amount.”
Bottas caught and passed Felipe Massa for fifth on the final lap of the race, and praised the team for allowing the team-mates to fight.
“I think it was really nice of the team to let us race,” he explained. “I think in any situation I think they can trust us to race hard but fair.”
Image courtesy of Williams F1 Team