Valtteri Bottas had in Baku the perfect opportunity for redemption after a pit-stop that wrecked his race in Monaco. But the nightmare did not end, and Mercedes was certainly slow since Friday morning at FP1 (For Valtteri, everything was wrong since Thursday too, having not attended media day events at the circuit due to a delay of his fly from Finland).
P10 and P16 during Friday sessions. P13 at the end of practice on Saturday. 10th for Qualifying ready for the starting grid and finally a fateful Sunday that ended with Valtteri Bottas being 12th, out of 16 cars that managed to finish the race, resulting in a nightmare race in Azerbaijan for round 6 in the championship.
“It was actually quite a similar feeling to yesterday and also Friday. Really the main issue was lack of pace and being not quick enough. Quite early on in the race, I could see that. Especially when the Aston Martin was in front of me I just couldn’t keep up.”
“I think it’s something we need to review because it’s not going to be much, is gonna be maximum one thing. We started the weekend with the same wing and still not happy all the time behind Lewis, quite a big margin.”
“I can’t remember this kind of weekend. Yes, there are weekends where I’ve had bad sessions but at some point, I had the pace and this weekend it’s been all-time low. I know myself when there’s a limit and when I can go faster, and then you’re still six-seven tenths behind. It’s not normal.”
This sport. 💔 pic.twitter.com/s0zaj0GhqD— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 6, 2021
Even though Bottas’ teammate, Lewis Hamilton, fought through the weekend and did the task of being in the front of the grid for the big part of Saturday and Sunday, there’s no doubt that he did struggle too, reporting balance and tyre problems during the course of the race and finally making a mistake that dropped him to 15th on the final result.
“That would be the most logical reason where we have something in the car but if we don’t, then the other thing it must be the tyres but you know we’re running the same tyre pressures and temperatures, so I’m keen to find out but at the moment I don’t know.”
“The race was more of a struggle than I thought. I thought it should be better than Monaco but obviously, it was far away from that and plus, of course, it is very different. “
Valtteri Bottas is aware of the gap that existed between both Mercedes drivers but he showed absolutely clueless on what could be the reason for the lack of understanding mostly with his car.
“I think one reason we struggled so much here was tyre warm-up. I think lots to learn this weekend but also lots to forget.”
“Yeah, I don’t know how many laps Max had in his tyre obviously a much longer stint than we thought we could do with the soft. Also in this track, you never know with debris or the walls or something. Obviously not great.”
“I don’t know, [about fighting with Lando Norris] it’s been similar all weekend. I know when I can be fast. I have been fast. But honestly, I’ve got no idea. Also Safety Car restart I struggled a lot, lost a lot of places. I felt like I was sitting, to be honest, all those cars coming left and right.”