Valtteri Bottas was all set to gain what was likely to have been his stellar win at Spain. Having set the pace on Saturday, being the quicker of the two Mercedes cars, as Bottas zoomed past Hamilton to capture pole-position, he did a bit more than just assuring himself a front row start at Catalunya.
He would provide a clear example of his intent for this season. In claiming a hat-trick of pole positions, a famous streak that began from China, went to Baku, and showed itself, yet again, at Spain, Bottas proved that he was going to be no lame pushover for Lewis Hamilton.
He imbued that he was the ‘guy to beat’ this season for Lewis Hamilton. Unfortunately though, for the Finn, upon the conclusion of a memorable 66-lap contest at the heart of Barcelona, this is what exactly happened.
The smiling face and exulting figure who claimed the checkered flag wasn’t Valtteri Bottas, rather it would be Lewis Hamilton, the five-time world champion.
If you were the Finn’s great fan or someone who had expected a different outcome to yet another race clinched fantastically by the 2018 World champion, then it suffices to say, you were disappointed.
In fact, no, you were bitterly disappointed.
For someone who’s perhaps made winning a habit, the offering at Spain was one that many have already seen a great deal of in the past: yet another Lewis win.
True success, it must be noted, often has slightly less-exciting manifestations.
Imagine the sheer magnitude of talent (and greatness) that Lewis Hamilton possesses that his class at winning (again and again) has made what’s only second nature to him, a somewhat soapy or drab outcome for others in Formula 1.
Today, when Lewis doesn’t win, it’s never down to the fact that another may have done better than him, something that could perhaps be the very truth, but it’s often down to one of those shaky moments that was ‘to have happened’ for such unpredictable are the ‘strokes of genius’ of the others.
Right? Isn’t it?
But what was clear during the very start of a belter of a 66-lap contest was that Bottas, pole-sitter on Saturday, wasn’t able to convert his front position into being some sort of an advantageous spot, conceding it incredibly to none other than, Hamilton.
But it appears that Bottas, perhaps caught napping- according to some- may have had troubles with the car, something the Finn later confessed at having faced.
So one wonders, what might have not worked well for Bottas?
The Finn maintained than an ‘unexpected clutch oscillation’ had given the early advantage to Lewis Hamilton. Putting it down to ‘strange behaviour’ by the clutch, Bottas has shared that conceding his position to Lewis was the last thing on his plan on what could’ve been his mega Sunday.
But that said, would it be any more sensible to underestimate the foxy Finnish driver?