Valtteri Bottas was focused on his one-stop strategy and did not expect the Mercedes engine failure which put him out of the race on lap 40.
The Finn’s power unit had been used in the first four races of the season, but Mercedes judged the engine to be within its normal reliability window in terms of mileage, and up to the task of enduring another race.
As a result, Bottas was tuned into his race pace and tyres more than his engine, with the former having him worried from the outset to the point where a change in strategy came into play.
“I was feeling good today and wasn’t thinking about it (the engine) at all to be honest,” said Bottas.
“The problem was from the beginning of the stint I didn’t have enough pace, so we actually changed the strategy.”
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Bottas kicked off his afternoon on the Soft tyre like his rivals, before switching to the more durable medium compound, hoping to race uninterrupted to the checkered flag.
” We tried to go for one stop and I think it could have paid off today without the two guys in front, Lewis and Seb.
“In the end, it was unlucky. With the engine we were told it could do one more race but it seels like it could not take it anymore.”
Bottas also found himself at the origin of the first lap incident at Turn 1 which put both Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen out of the race.
“I was on the inside in Turn 1 and Kimi came from and he tried to overtake me. I tried to carry speed, and for sure we didn’t collide on purpose. It was very unluck as it was a small touch really.”
Given his lack of pace, Bottas also put in an extra effort to keep Vettel at bay in oder to help team mate Lewis Hamilton reel in the Ferrari.
“I was trying to do everything I can. I knew I didn’t have the pace at that point, and also that we were on a different strategy. So I tried to do my part.”
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