Toto Wolff: Valtteri Bottas threw chance of victory away in China

"It was very slippery out there and he lost it - and that's when the race was gone". He then spun while trying to warm his tires up in the queue while preparing for the restart.

And Bottas revealed he apologized to Mercedes for only recovering as far as sixth place by the end of the race due to the spin. I had a bit of a slide, over-corrected, and spun to the grass.

"Handling-wise the auto wasn't bad, even though I had experienced understeer in the beginning and then, for whatever reason, it changed to oversteer." . It was slow to get out of the grass.

Bottas was apologetic about his error, saying: "Behind the safety vehicle I was trying to generate as much tyre temperature as I could, but I went too far and spun - and after that it was tricky to get the tyres back to working temperature".

"In the clean air the auto was fast today Lewis proved it, it was a winning vehicle". There are still positives we can take away: the chassis is coming along, and both Fernando and I are feeling very confident to push.

When asked about the possibility of Alonso replacing Bottas, Hamilton said, "He has obviously got a lot of potentials and a lot of growth to go, but it is all about finding the right balance in the team".

"Once you've done a mistake it's done, so you try to forget it and do everything you can to make up for it next time, so I will take a look in the mirror at myself and come back stronger".

He recovered to sixth but felt beating Vettel's Ferrari - which was behind him just before his spin - to second should have been achievable given Mercedes' race pace.

"I definitely apologised to everyone". But the main thing is not to do it again. And I'm glad Bahrain is in one week. Both Fernando and Stoffel made good starts - and, although Stoffel's vehicle was tapped at the rear by another auto, no damage was sustained and both he and Fernando escaped any major drama on the first lap. I know the pace is there, I can do very good things with the auto and as a team we did a stronger job, in terms of vehicle pace, than what we had done on Sunday in Melbourne.

When is the next race?

  • Leroy Wright