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Hamilton and Bottas swap chassis

NEWS STORY
17/06/2021

In a pre-planned move, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are to swap chassis for this weekend's French Grand Prix.

Insisting that the move, which will see Bottas at the wheel of #6, the chassis teammate Hamilton drove in Baku, and the world champion in #4, is not a result of his nightmare outing in Azerbaijan.

"It's not a new chassis, it's different and it was always planned for me to change to a different chassis at this point," said the Finn.

In the wake of his Baku performance, Bottas admitted: "I can't remember having this kind of weekend before. Yes, there were a few weekends when I've had bad sessions but always, at some point, I had the pace.

"But this weekend it's been all the time like this, and during the whole weekend I still haven't understood what is wrong. I know myself where's the limit and I cannot go faster than this, and then you're still six, seven, eight tenths behind. It's not normal, so it's something we need to understand before going to France."

Following his drive to third in Spain, Bottas has suffered back-to-back nightmare weekends, with his wheelnut saga in Monaco and his inexplicably disastrous outing in Baku.

Looking ahead, Bottas, for whom this will be his third different chassis of the season, having badly damaged his original in the clash with George Russell at Imola, believes the move back to a more "normal" circuit will prove beneficial.

"We saw that in Monaco, for me, I managed to find the set-up and the confidence and get the tyres to work and Lewis didn't. It almost felt like vice-versa in Baku," he said.

"I think our car is quite on a knife-edge on those kind of tracks. But I think at least the next few tracks it's a bit more normal and hopefully we can get a reasonable set-up and that it's not that easy to go into the wrong direction."

Looking ahead, if Valtteri really wants to retain his seat for 2022 it might be an idea to swap helmets with Hamilton also.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 18/06/2021 6:36

"@noname33....Mercedes/Hamilton stand on the brink of achieving a new record of WC's. Consider this. Do you think that Wolff would in any way allow anyone to upset this possible new record being achieved? Irrespective of this season the record as it stands is already substantial and whilst it would be foolish to state that that record will never be broken, for that to occur it would take any team/driver a period of at least seven years just to equalise!!! IMO Wolff would not allow it and would do all in his [ considerable ] power to prevent it but then some would disagree and that's fair enough. Enjoy Paul Ricard...I will."

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2. Posted by noname33, 18/06/2021 5:51

"@kenji - I was thinking the same thing, excluding the part about Wolff not letting Bottas win."

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3. Posted by kenji, 18/06/2021 0:15

"Now that's an interesting story.VB says that a swap of the chassis was always planned? Why would that be so? Whilst in terms of additional work to carry it out it is not a major task, but why do it in the first place if both cars are guaranteed,as stated many times by Wolff, to be identical outside of personal fitment of seat, pedals etc. Something is not right here, Maybe VB believes that Hamilton has some 'magic' that's not available to him hence his erratic and sub par performances in the mighty black arrow. It would be quite a hoot if VB actually won the race!!! Wolff will not let that happen though.....then again, if Hamilton wins it makes VB look even worse and lays some groundwork to further support a change of driver for '22 and beyond."

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