Sensor issue caused Bottas's power loss in Portuguese GP

Valtteri Bottas's hopes of catching Max Verstappen for second in the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix were dashed by a sensor issue that caused his engine to enter safety mode.

Sensor issue caused Bottas's power loss in Portuguese GP

Bottas led the opening stages of the race after qualifying on pole position, but was overtaken by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the first stint of the race.

The Finn slipped to third after Red Bull's Max Verstappen was able to get the undercut and make a pass, only for the Mercedes driver to catch back up towards the end of the race. But after the gap dropped below two seconds, Bottas had two slow laps where he lost five seconds to Verstappen, reporting a loss of engine power.

His times then picked back up, but he was unable to catch the Red Bull back up and ended up finishing the race in third place.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explained after the race that a faulty sensor had caused Bottas's engine to enter a safety mode, costing him in the battle against Verstappen.

"That was unfortunate, because he really caught up well to Max, and then it kind of stabilised at 1.5, 1.6 seconds, but he had more to come at the end of the race," Wolff said. "We made a switch change, in order to basically override a sensor that was saying we are running too hot on exhaust temperatures, and we couldn't override it.

"So the engine went in protection mode and cost him five seconds."

Read Also:

Despite being passed by both Hamilton and Verstappen, Wolff felt that Bottas had a "very solid race" and struggled while leading the train of cars early on.

"It's clear when you are in the front and just kicking a hole in the air, and the car behind you has DRS, that's very difficult," Wolff said. "At that moment, Lewis opened up a bit of a gap, and was gone. But he controlled Max well. We lost the undercut, that was unfortunate, and then we let him down with the engine, that went into a safety mode.

"So all in all, I think like many times, it could have worked for Valtteri. We were pushing hard and continue to support him, and next time we'll see what he's capable of doing in Barcelona."

Bottas was able to snatch a bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race after pitting for a fresh set of tyres with three laps to go.

But the early stop gave enough time for Red Bull to pit Verstappen from second one lap later and attempt to take the bonus point. Verstappen beat Bottas's lap time by 0.016 seconds, but had the effort deleted after exceeding track limits.

"We had a little bit of a stupid moment, it should have been the next lap," Wolff said. "But we learn and move on."

shares
comments

Related video

Grand Prix race results: Hamilton beats Verstappen in Portugal
Previous article

Grand Prix race results: Hamilton beats Verstappen in Portugal

Next article

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021