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Valtteri Bottas said he was not able to avoid hitting the debris which damaged the floor of his Mercedes during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Bottas had taken the early lead from pole position but collected debris at Tosa which had been left by a collision between Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

Mercedes informed Bottas he had suffered “significant” damage to the floor of his car during the race. Bottas says he saw the debris but only when it was too late for him to take avoiding action.

“Yeah, I think that [debris] made quite a big impact today,” says Bottas.

“The start was good – that was one of the main things to get right today. On lap two suddenly out of turn seven [Tosa], there was debris. I didn’t have time to avoid it.

“I saw it, so I aimed in the middle of the car, so at least I wouldn’t run over it with the tyres but obviously it caused me some damage or something which made the car quite quickly tricky to drive.”

Having lost the lead of the race to team mate Lewis Hamilton after the championship leader had pitted under a Virtual Safety Car period, Bottas was passed by Max Verstappen for second place after he had made a series of errors into Rivazza.

“I was really pushing hard to try and avoid Max getting through,” Bottas says.

“I had to push over all of my limits and that led to mistakes. So, unlucky.”

Bottas finished second after Verstappen retired with a right-rear tyre failure in the later laps of the race.

Image: Mercedes via Twitter

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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