Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
17 days
09 May
Next event in
22 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
61 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
78 days
18 Jul
Race in
96 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
169 days
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
194 days
31 Oct
Race in
201 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
221 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 days

Mercedes didn't believe sensors over Bottas's debris strike

The Mercedes Formula 1 team did not initially believe the sensors that indicated Valtteri Bottas had lost 50 downforce points after hitting Ferrari debris in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Bottas was leading at Imola on lap two when he collected a piece of Sebastian Vettel's endplate, which had broken off after the German collided with Kevin Magnussen at Tosa corner on lap one.

While Bottas had avoided the risk of a puncture by running over the debris straight on, the broken part struck the underside of his Mercedes before getting stuck.

Mercedes telemetry instantly signalled to the pit wall that Bottas was suffering a performance deficit, but the team at first could not believe how big the problem was because the Finn was still holding on to the lead.

Read Also:

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes' track engineer director, said: "We were seeing a big drop in performance, but the issue is the scale of the drop in terms of laptime. If you translate it to lap time, it was seven or eight tenths of a second.

"We weren't really believing the sensors, because we were looking at how Valtteri was not pushing particularly hard, and able to do reasonable lap times when we needed to. We could build a bit of a gap.

"And it's very difficult to put an absolute lap time loss on these because they can often affect the car in a quite non-linear way around the circuit, or different behaviour in different directions and corners. But early on, we couldn't quite believe how big it was."

Mercedes knew that Bottas had hit the debris at Tosa corner, but where Vettel's endplate had got stuck – and the fact that only its black surface was visible – meant it could not fully understand what was causing the problem.

Shovlin added: "We didn't know what it was. When you look at the size of the bit, and the fact that it's red, you can't believe that we couldn't see it on the cameras.

"But it was lodged in, and it was the black area that was visible. And because the whole car's black there, we couldn't see that. If we'd been able to see where it was, we could have possibly done a more effective job of getting it out for the first stop.

"It's unlucky for him and he definitely made the right decision to go straight over it because taking that onto a tyre would very likely have caused an instant puncture. So that was a good call. But through no fault of his own, it basically held him back for the whole afternoon."

shares
comments

Related video

Weld failure triggered Gasly's retirement at Imola

Previous article

Weld failure triggered Gasly's retirement at Imola

Next article

Bottas: Hamilton's strategy freedom at Imola not unfair

Bottas: Hamilton's strategy freedom at Imola not unfair
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia-Romagna GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Author Jonathan Noble
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021