Bottas: Something "fundamentally wrong" with Mercedes in Baku

Valtteri Bottas thinks there must have been something "fundamentally wrong" with the Mercedes in Formula 1 practice at Baku on Friday after he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton struggled so much.

Bottas: Something "fundamentally wrong" with Mercedes in Baku
Listen to this article

World champion Hamilton ended up 11th fastest in second free practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Bottas down in 16th spot – ahead of only the Williams and Haas drivers.

Both Mercedes men said there their cars did not feel terrible to drive but were simply not quick enough.

“It was very, very tricky for us today and clearly we were lacking pace,” said Bottas. “It feels like it's just overall grip, you know.

“The balance is not that far off. Okay, the car is maybe a bit unpredictable, but it just feels like lacking grip and sliding around. So I think it's gonna be a long night tonight.”

In the first free practice, Hamilton finished seventh, with Bottas in tenth.

Asked if the problem was more on single lap pace than long runs, Bottas said: “Slightly better maybe on the long run, but still, we're lacking pace. That's for sure. So I think there's something fundamentally wrong and we need to figure out what.”

Read Also:

Hamilton said he was baffled about why the Mercedes was so slow, especially as the day overall had not felt terrible from the cockpit.

“It feels clean, I got all the laps that we needed, there were not really any mistakes – I had one lock-up I think in FP1," he explained. "But in general I feel like I’m driving well and the car felt better in FP1, in this one [FP2] there was just no more time in it.

“So yeah, we’re definitely quite a chunk down. I think everyone will be scratching their heads trying to figure out and looking into the data to try and figure out how we can improve. The long run was better, but yeah.”

He added: “I was pushing, I was on the limit, but the car is limited, there are areas that I should just be quicker but there’s no more grip. So we’ll work it out.

“It’s not easy to be out of the top ten in a place when we’ve had pace in other places. But yeah, I don’t really know why we are where we are.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why Mercedes' "worst Friday" leaves it behind Alfa in Baku

Ferrari "definitely not as quick as in Monaco" - Sainz

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why Vasseur relishes the pressure Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

F1 2023's crucial tech changes The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023