Bottas raised concerns over Mercedes’ pit stops before Monaco

All F1 fans were hoping that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ feud would cool down after Baku, but it just got even more heated before the Monaco GP. Bottas was notoriously angry after his incident with Hamilton in Azerbaijan, and he made it clear to the Mercedes team that he wasn’t just having a bad race, but a bad week. His complaints weren’t limited to the radio communication between the team and Hamilton, either: “I think by the end all the stuff with the radio, the first two pit stops, they were not quick enough. To me it looked like they were trying to save the tyres, and I think this is the wrong answer in Monaco.”

“After the race, Valtteri Bottas raised concerns over the team’s pit stops for the Monaco Grand Prix, saying that Mercedes’ strategy appeared to be “completely different” to that of Ferrari’s. “It wasn’t as straightforward as it was in the past, where we had a clear strategy, and it was just a question of executing it and doing it quickly,” he said. “It was more complicated, and I was surprised about how much different it was from the Ferrari. “One team was able to improvise the strategy and the other team was not able to do the same. It was not as straightforward as it could have been.”

In the build-up to the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton admitted that the team had used a faster pitstop technique on Saturday’s practice sessions, but had reverted to the normal method of stopping on Sunday. The decision to switch the stops was made by Mercedes’ chief strategist, James Vowles, after he had studied the data from Saturday’s practice sessions, but the FIA’s technical delegate, Charlie Whiting, was not able to confirm the use of the fastest method.. Read more about pit stop and let us know what you think.Valtteri Bottas says he raised concerns about the standards of Mercedes’ pit stops before a machined wheel nut forced him into retirement at the Monaco Grand Prix. Bottas holds the dubious honour of Formula One’s longest pit stop after it took Mercedes 43 hours to remove the front right wheel from his car following a botched tyre change in Monaco. The wheel gun used by the mechanic connected at an angle with the wheel nut, meaning its socket machined the metal away from the teeth of the wheel nut rather than connecting with them. It was impossible for Mercedes to remove the wheel from the car in Monaco, and it was only released after it had been sent back to the factory in the U.K. where a high-powered Dremel tool was used to cut through the wheel nut. Bottas was running in a solid second place before the pit stop issue, meaning the mistake likely cost him 18 points in the championship. “We always analyze everything very openly — not blaming any people but really analyzing things honestly and admitting weaknesses, which was the pit stop.” Bottas said ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “As a matter of fact, it was one of my concerns already a few weeks ago, that I raised with the team. “So it didn’t come from somewhere out of the blue, we knew that we are not perfect in pit stops as we’ve seen, and also other areas like tyre warm up in qualifying.” Valtteri Bottas’ race was undone by a wheel nut issue at his pit-stop. Mark Thompson/Getty Images In the aftermath of the race, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said Bottas had stopped beyond his markers in the pit box, perhaps contributing to the wheel gun going on at an incorrect angle. Bottas was surprised by those comments, saying footage of the pit stop indicated he was relatively accurate in coming to a halt at the right point. Asked if he was surprised by Wolff’s comments, Bottas said: “Yes, I was surprised. I saw the video, and for me it was pretty spot on where I stopped. Yes, I was quite surprised. “Of course, I want to see all the reports about where I stopped, and I think I was like two or three centimeters off the central line. And if you get that accuracy normally, it’s pretty good. You know, you can easily swing by 10/15 centimeters so I thought it was pretty spot on. “But it’s pretty normal debrief, to be honest, and of course we had discussions, the week after, still with my engineers, analyzing everything and at the factory they’ve been full gas, understanding everything. “So, it is nothing unusual for us, it was just a bigger setback than some other weekends in terms of result but pretty normal procedure otherwise.” Bottas, who is now 58 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings, also gave some insight into how he had dealt with the disappointment of retiring from second place. “Personally, for me, it took a couple of days, I’ve got to say. “It has not been the best start of the season and that kind of issue, when it hits you when your target is to get some good points is disappointing but I got over it, I’ve got my own ways of getting through it, and I’m keen to race again.”

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