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Valtteri Bottas felt in control of Chinese Grand Prix before Safety Car

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Great start for Vettel and Bottas (1:54)

Heading into Turn 1 of the Chinese Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel squeezed out teammate Kimi Raikkonen to take the lead, giving Valtteri Bottas the opportunity to take P2. (1:54)

Valtteri Bottas said he felt in complete control of the Chinese Grand Prix before the Safety Car period which swung the race towards its eventual winner, Daniel Ricciardo.

After a brilliantly managed first stint and a blistering set of laps either side of his first pit stop, Bottas jumped polesitter Sebastian Vettel for the lead. The pair remained close afterwards and appeared set for a close fight for victory until a Safety Car was deployed on lap 35, moments after the pair had passed the pit entry.

The allowed Red Bull to pit both its drivers for fresh tyres, triggering a phenomenal charge through the field by Ricciardo, who caught and passed Bottas lap 45 despite being squeezed on the inside of the corner by the Finn. Bottas withstood late pressure from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to finish second but after the race his thoughts were on an opportunity lost.

When asked how he felt his pace was compared to Vettel before the Safety Car was deployed, Bottas said: "It felt like everything was under control and I had no major drop off in the end. I think we could have done it, but this is racing, these things happen.

"The race was going pretty well for us until and we were looking strong all the way until the Safety Car. Then we were in trouble with Daniel and nearly with Kimi in the end. It is disappointing, we gave it everything we had and it kind of feel we deserved the win today but we didn't get it today."

Although he put up a fight against Ricciardo's passing attempt Bottas concedes there was little he could do with such a significant tyre disadvantage.

"I was defending, I obviously saw him very close in the first three corners, in the exit as well. He was closing lap after lap with pretty big gain. I think from my side there wasn't much to do. I tried to defend but ultimately he had much better tyres he could brake quite a lot later on the inside. I think it was all fair. I think it was just a matter of time with the pace he had."