Why Bottas changed three tyres at his last stop in Bahrain

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas finished a lowly eighth in Bahrain after a tricky race that saw him make three pitstops – including one where he changed only three tyres.

Why Bottas changed three tyres at his last stop in Bahrain

It was the Finn's second consecutive disastrous Sunday after his 14th place in the rain-affected event in Turkey, where he spun six times.

Mercedes went into the race with less of a safety net than rivals, as both Bottas and teammate Lewis Hamilton had one set of hards and two sets of mediums left, while most of their rivals had a second set of hards

Bottas got away badly at the original start and was thus fourth when the race was red-flagged.

He took the second start from that position, but had to pit immediately with a right front puncture picked up close to the Romain Grosjean crash site.

"Apparently I picked up the puncture between Turns 3 and 4 on the opening lap on the second start," said Bottas. "For me everything looked clean, I didn't see any debris so it was quite surprising."

In effect that set of medium tyres, on which he had qualified, appeared to be wasted, and the team knew its options were limited.

Bottas made that unplanned stop under the safety car, and then ran hards for the opening part of the race, hoping that it would be possible to make only one more stop.

However, the hards did not last as well as had been anticipated as the Finn was constantly fighting his way through traffic.

"Actually the first stint when I was on the hard tyre we aimed to go for one-stop at that point," he said. "Because we knew in theory it could be possible.

"But with the amount of fighting I had to do and pushing to get through the cars we saw that it was not possible, or if sit behind them and lose chunks of time.

"So it was tricky really to find the optimal thing to do, and in the end we had to do two stops, especially when we went to the medium tyre.

"The main issue was really that in the beginning there was a big train of cars all with DRS, and everyone knows it is not easy in this kind of situation, you really have to push a lot and slide around behind other cars if you want to make positions, and that way you lose tyre life. So it was not easy."

Read Also:

He took a set of mediums at his stop on lap 25, and then pitted again on lap 38.

Rather than go to the unfavoured softs, the team took the opportunity to re-fit the medium set that he had run in qualifying and at the start of the race, but without the punctured right front – and thus he kept the well-used tyre that was already on that corner.

"The medium we put on at the end, we actually only changed three tyres, and it was not that old, only a few laps. The first 10 laps in the last stint felt OK, but we had some overheating.

"The drivers and cars with the hard tyres on could keep going for quite a bit longer and still able to push harder without overheating. For me the hard tyre was better."

In the closing laps he had a second puncture when running under the safety car, but fortunately he was able to cruise to the finish line without an extra stop.

"At the very end during the safety car there was another puncture on the rear tyre, I think it was rear right, and again I didn't see anything at any point.

"Obviously there was quite a bit of debris around, but some of it you can't really see it. So another unlucky race for me."

shares
comments

Related video

How F1's safety advances saved Grosjean

Previous article

How F1's safety advances saved Grosjean

Next article

McLaren says Norris marshal incident in Bahrain "concerning"

McLaren says Norris marshal incident in Bahrain "concerning"
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021