Baku blowout left Bottas 'crying like a baby'

© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas has revealed that his retirement in the closing laps of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix while he was leading left him "crying like a baby".

The Mercedes driver was leading the field at the restart in Baku after a late yellow flag period and felt confident of holding his own for the remaining three laps.

Alas, debris on the track punctured the rear right tyre of his W09, inflicting on the Finn a painful demise and "one of the biggest disappointments I have had in my career."

"I thought it was one my best races I have done," said Bottas 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.

"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."

It was indeed a bitter blow for Bottas, the realisation of which really sunk in later that day.

"A couple of races before that I nearly won, I was second a couple of times, so I was really looking forward to winning my first race of the year, but it never happened," he added.

"From that accident 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 just 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."

However, for many, that defeat may have had ramifications for Bottas who never really came close to winning thereafter, his under-performance leaving him trailing team mate Lewis Hamilton in the world championship, and ultimately forcing him into a support role during the final leg of the season.

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