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Bottas defends radio rant

NEWS STORY
21/06/2021

Valtteri Bottas has defended his angry radio outburst following Mercedes decision not to heed his advice and switch him to a two-stop strategy.

Following Max Verstappen's game-changing switch to a two-stop strategy, it was likely only a matter of time before the world championship leader reeled in his Mercedes rivals.

While Lewis Hamilton was able to hold off the Dutchman until the penultimate lap, Valtteri Bottas, who had been the first of the front runners to stop, was suffering major tyre degradation.

As it became obvious that a podium - far less a win - was unlikely, Bottas took to the radio to vent his frustration at the fact Mercedes hadn't listened to his advice in terms of considering a two-stopper.

"Why the f*** does no one listen to me when I say it's going to be a two-stopper?" he stormed. "F****** hell!"

Speaking after the race, Bottas, who eventually finished fourth, six seconds behind third-placed Sergio Perez, told Sky Sports: "I think the winning strategy today was a two-stop.

"It is easy to say afterwards but that is how it is," he added. "As a team I think we were too focussed on completing the one stop thinking it was the best but it wasn't.

"I had no front tyres left for the last ten to fifteen laps so it was really just trying to get the car home... it was not fun the last stint."

Asked if he thought the radio rant was a little too strong, he said: "I was making very clear what I was thinking. I was suggesting a two-stop earlier in the race but the team went one-stop and here we are.

"You feel like a sitting duck, it is quite simple," he said of the final stages of the race as he was picked off, first by Verstappen and then Perez. "Of course, I tried everything I could. I tried to finish on the podium but the tyres were completely gone so no chance.

"I think we thought the tyres would last a lot better than they did, I think that was the biggest thing. We thought the hard tyre could do nearly the whole race but that was not the case."

Explaining why Mercedes opted to pit Bottas first, when traditionally it pits its leading driver, Toto Wolff told Sky Sports: "We had no choice, Valtteri's tyre had started to have a vibration.

"Towards the end we were really worried," he said of the Finn's first stint, "that vibration came through the suspension already, he could have had a failure at any time because he flat spotted the tyres. We knew that we were going to trigger the stops too early, but had no choice."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 23/06/2021 11:39

"@ TS Goodchild...Too little too late I fear. He should've balled Wolff out for his 'wingman' comment, providing of course that he'd never agreed to that in the first place. What absolutely amazes me is that Wollf has stated 'how good it was to hear Bottas cockpit rant'!!! It seems as if he is trying to ameliorate his past total dedication to the GOAT by implying that Bottas was too reticent in the past to voice an opinion!!! My observations have indicated that a large percentage of Skandis are by nature somewhat reserved when it come to voicing opinions in a shouty manner. Does more dissent in the ranks of MB indicate a degree of panic creeping in...could we be so lucky?"

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2. Posted by TSGoodchild, 22/06/2021 9:41

"One gets the feeling that Bottas is finding his voice at last...now that his job is likely on the line."

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3. Posted by meatball, 21/06/2021 21:54

"Redbull pulling the ol' switcheroo on Merc sure caused Merc to poop the bed. "

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