I Was Crying Like a Small Baby – Valtteri Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas admits he broke down and cried after losing a likely victory in this year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was leading with three laps to go when he hit a piece of debris which punctured a tyre. He was forced to retire, which he called “one of the biggest disappointments I have had in my career.”

“I thought it was one my best races I have done,” Bottas explained in an interview for Mercedes. “I didn’t lead for a long time but I managed to fight myself up to the lead of the race.”

Bottas took the lead when the timing of a Safety Car period worked out in his favour, and had just seen off an attack from Sebastian Vettel when he was forced out.

“I remember just before the moment I had such good confidence and I felt everything was under control. I knew I’m going to take a little bit of luck and win the race but I hit some debris on the main straight which I didn’t see and had a puncture and the race finished there.”

Valtteri Bottas
The moment it all went wrong for Valtteri Bottas

The defeat hit Bottas hard as he had come close to winning both of the previous rounds. “A couple of races before that I nearly won, I was second a couple of times, and so I was really looking forward to winning my first race of the year but it never happened.

“Afterwards I could see the disappointment in the whole team. I got a lot of support from everyone.

“When I got back to the hotel I crashed completely, I dropped on my knees and I was crying like a small baby. But then I got up and decided one failure is not going to put me down.”

The debris Bottas hit was left following a collision between Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly. Lewis Hamilton won the race for Mercedes but team principal Toto Wolff said the loss of a likely one-two was a “terrible moment”.

“Unbelievable, three laps before the end, because of a completely senseless manoeuvre he ran over debris, punctured a tyre and had to retire. This was a typical, super-cruel moment of Formula 1.”

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