Sport Mercedes explain lengthy Bottas stint before puncture
Bottas: From the load "in the shadow" to function
Valtteri Bottas loves his coffee. The Finn is in his home owner of a Rösterei, was already Juror at Championships and has a specially designed helmet for the Grand Prix of São Paulo in the coffee-Mecca Brazil. © Edgard Garrido / Reuters pool via AP / dpa The number two at Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas. His girlfriend Tiffany Cromwell, an Australian cyclist has it creatively lived. Plant, Leaf, cup, motto - everything you need for Bottas to coffee is to find on his head protection.
Mercedes were trying to clear Fernando Alonso by extending Valtteri Bottas’ opening stint in Qatar, but it ultimately backfired.
Looking to go long on the medium compound tyres, Bottas became one of four drivers to get struck by a, sending him for a trip into the gravel as part of a slow and painful recovery to the pits.
The damage caused by the puncture resulted inlater deciding to call Bottas back to the garage to retire.
It was a race weekend when the Pirelli tyres were on the brink of what they could cope with, Bottas of course being an example of sending them over it, but Mercedes saw stretching out that stint as their best chance of denying Alonso a spot on the podium.
F1 Brazilian GP sprint race: What time is it, how to watch it & more
Formula 1 will run its third sprint race this weekend at Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Find out when it starts, how to watch it, and more, here.Lewis Hamilton went fastest in qualifying ahead of the Brazilian GP sprint race, beating F1 world title rival Max Verstappen by a considerable 0.438 seconds.
Asked duringwhy Bottas was left out so long, Andrew Shovlin, the team’s trackside engineering director, said: “Well, specifically we were trying to clear Alonso. He was on relatively fresh hard tyres in our pit window.
“Valtteri was faster, he was finding a few tenths a lap and if we had stayed out another three or four laps, we would have been able to build that window to Alonso, pit Valtteri for fresh hard tyres and drop out in front. That was the plan.
“As you saw, we had that puncture. The timing of that was really unfortunate. Valtteri felt it at around the same time we were seeing it on the data, and it was too late for him to get into the pit lane.
Valtteri Bottas doubles down on Mercedes criticism which would have helped Lewis Hamilton
Valtteri Bottas was heard complaining to his team about returning to the pits during yesterday's Brazilian Grand Prix.Hamilton produced a performance for the ages to come away with victory in Brazil, somehow reigning supreme despite starting on the grid in 10th and Saturday's sprint in dead last after his disqualification from qualifying.
“So he had the whole lap to do and when you lose the pressure in one tyre, effectively you’ve a three-wheeled car, it’s got no grip in the right-handers and ultimately the in-lap was very costly from a race time point of view.
“But not only did it cost us race time, it also cost us performance and that’s because when you haven’t got the wheel holding the car up, the wing is dragging on the road, getting damaged, the floor as well and a lot of the aero furniture around there is getting damaged just from its contact with the road.
“So ultimately, we had quite a big performance hit from that. When we got out, we could start to establish that in the data. Over the course of the next few laps, we were understanding how much performance we’d lost. We were also getting a view of the race picture and it was becoming evident we wouldn’t get Valtteri back into the points.
“The damage was too much for him to be able to challenge anyone, so that was why we decided to retire the car.”
Mercedes had doubts over Bottas’ strategy claims
While Valtteri Bottas thought he could have executed a one-stop strategy in Brazil, Mercedes decided to err on the side of caution.Bottas was called in to pit a lap after Max Verstappen took his second stop in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, which the Mercedes driver did not want to do – wondering on team radio if the team had “thrown away an easy 1-2” by not allowing him to stay out to try and make it to the end of the race.
Before the puncture, Bottas had been on the ascent,, having dropped from P6 to P11 after a poor start.
But as for the reasons behind that terrible opening few corners for the Finn, Shovlin put that down to a lack of tyre temperature and more so due to starting on the dirty side of the grid.
“First and foremost, that dirty side of the grid didn’t have anything running on it the whole weekend, there were no support races and Valtteri wasn’t alone in starting on that side and losing positions as a result,” Shovlin explained.
“A lesser problem was the tyres weren’t quite up to temperature, that cost him a bit of grip off the line, it also cost him a bit of grip in the opening corners. So it gave us a bit of a challenge.
“At the end of that first lap Valtteri had dropped down to P11, but from there he actually mounted a really good recovery drive and our simulations were showing he would finish P3 or P4, but looking like a really solid drive when unfortunately we had that puncture that took him out of contention.”
Wolff denies Bottas has ‘checked out’ from Mercedes .
Valtteri Bottas' mind is still very much with Mercedes rather than his next team Alfa Romeo, according to Toto Wolff.Bottas’ five-year Mercedes career has only a couple more weeks to run, with two final races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi before he makes way for George Russell.