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Bottas' car mostly "beyond repair"

NEWS STORY
22/04/2021

Mercedes engineering director, Andrew Shovlin admits that Valtteri Bottas' car is mostly "beyond repair" following Sunday's high-speed crash at Imola.

The Finn collided with George Russell on the 30th lap of the race, the widespread debris that resulted causing the event to be red-flagged.

While the stewards deemed it a racing incident, most believe the Briton to have been responsible, indeed the Williams driver subsequently issued an apology to his rival.

In the latest post-race video debrief, engineering director, Andrew Shovlin unsurprisingly confirms that the W12 sustained a lot of damage.

"It was a big crash," says the Briton in a masterpiece of understatement, "we were seeing around 30g at points in his trip around the walls and the track.

"Unfortunately, the car has not done quite so well," he admits. "There is a fair amount of damage to that.

"We have managed to bring a lot of it back to the UK... we've got the power unit at Brixworth where that's being checked and inspected carefully and we will just pick through this and some of the bits we might be able to salvage.

"Unfortunately, quite a lot of it is damaged beyond repair and we are just looking at a logistics plan to try and be able to get sufficient parts to Portimao, which is the week after next, to make sure we can run both cars in the correct spec.

"As much as we like our car, we like Valtteri more," added Shovlin, "and happily he was able to come out of that with not much more than a bruised knee from the impact."

Team boss, Toto Wolff, who has already claimed that Russell shouldn't have been racing the Mercedes in the first place, has admitted concern that - under the budget cap - the financial cost incurred by the damage could impact the team's update programme at a time the German outfit appears to be in an all-out war with Red Bull.

Explaining why Bottas was battling Russell in the midfield, Shovlin said: "Valtteri was finding it hard to get close to other cars on the intermediate tyres, he was struggling for temperature, and that lack of temperature, particularly early in the race, just manifested itself as a lack of grip.

"When he got close, as close as you would need to be to get a passing move, the front grip was dropping and he was washing out and couldn't really follow at a distance that would allow him to pass.

"The other factor was that in that intermediate stage, the DRS isn't enabled. And when you can get in the tow, when you can trigger DRS, you can actually gain around six tenths of a second just from the combined effect of those two things.

"So that was something that wasn't available to Valtteri at that stage which was to Lewis later on, but the key thing was really just the balance of the car, the understeer that he was picking up when he got close and the fact that that meant that he couldn't get the gap down to enough to launch an attack."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by trackrecords, 30/04/2021 9:24

"Kenji - were there to be some form of nozzle or vanes in the exhaust pipes that could create swirl and it would not be governed by the bodywork regs, surety?"

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2. Posted by kenji, 23/04/2021 3:54

"I'm surprised that no one seems to have created a ' super turbulence creating device' that forms part of the current cars rear sub structure. Maybe they have but I certainly haven't heard of it. That would be an evil addition. Problem is that it would have to be a fixed device and as such it could possibly act against a teams 'other' driver at times. Nevertheless what an addition to the armory to help save one's lower rear anatomy from attack by the enemy."

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3. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 22/04/2021 8:28

"We are used to hearing from drivers that when you get within one second of the car in front it effects your downforce and handling, did anyone hear the comment from Max last time out that he felt it was now 1.5 seconds, so the new aero possibly making things worse. "

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