Valtteri Bottas says finishing fifth at the United States Grand Prix was a shame, after some hard-fought battles and struggling with his tyres late in the race.
'I couldn't hold on'
The Finn lined up third on the grid and enjoyed some fierce on-track scraps, but lost ground in the closing stages as his tyres faded.
"We really tried but the drop-off was just too much," he said. "In the end, we stopped but it was too late. For sure, there's a lot of disappointment. I think it was going quite well and the pace wasn't bad, but we couldn't make the one-stop strategy work.
"It's a shame, a tough one indeed. The first three quarters of the race was not so bad. But in the end I couldn't hold on with the soft tyres anymore. I tried to defend the position, but they had more pace, so it was difficult."
'The pace was dropping'
Valtteri pushed hard in the second stint but was hit by tyre struggles, which cost him positions and caused a very late second stop for fresh Pirellis.
"Until 20 laps to go, it was all going okay," he explained. "But then, in the last 10 laps of the long stint on the soft tyre, the pace was dropping. I was struggling especially with the rear end and the guys who switched to two stops seemed to have the edge. Then, we had to stop in the end.
"The problem was that in the second stint, we had to manage the tyres a lot, to make them last. Sebastian was ahead of me, and Kimi was putting me under pressure all the time, so I couldn't do enough tyre saving.
"Everyone saw it was not easy, my tyres were finished in the end and I had to stop, which was a shame."
Despite the disappointment, Valtteri's fifth place and team-mate Lewis Hamilton's victory secured Mercedes the Constructors' Championship:
"I had to get over my race first but, of course, the Constructors' Championship is great. It's amazing to be a part of that. First time for me, obviously, so very special."