Chinese Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas says spin under safety car was 'stupid mistake'

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas lost control as he tried to build tyre temperature

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas rued the "stupid mistake" that led to him spinning behind the safety car during the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Finn lost control warming up his tyres as the field prepared for a restart and dropped from fifth to 12th.

Bottas recovered to finish sixth as team-mate Lewis Hamilton won the race.

"I was trying to generate as much tyre temperature as I could but made a mistake and spun and lost many places," said the 27-year-old.

"Through a stupid mistake of mine, we lost too many points."

Antonio Giovinazzi crashes his Sauber
The Finn had been under the safety car following Antonio Giovinazzi's crash in his Sauber

Bottas, who was promoted to Mercedes this year from Williams after world champion Nico Rosberg retired, is in his first season in a top team.

He was signed by Mercedes on a one-year contract and is under huge pressure to perform because the contracts of multiple world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are up for renewal at the end of this season with Ferrari and McLaren respectively.

Bottas said he was "really happy" it was only a week and not the usual two until the next race, in Bahrain.

Team boss Toto Wolff, who was involved in Bottas' management team for many years before removing himself after signing him to avoid a conflict of interest, said: "Valtteri threw it away behind the safety car. It was very slippery.

"It is race two, there are are 18 to go. He needs to put it behind him and forget about it. He has the character to recover from such a situation."

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