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F1 | Sao Paulo GP | Bottas says “At that moment I tried my best” at the start of the Mexico GP, while Shovlin admits “we knew that lap one would be one of vulnerabilities”

Valtteri Bottas addressed the opening lap incident admitting there was a possibility to block Max Verstappen at the Mexico GP and Andrew Schovlin shed some light on the controversial matter.

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F1 | Sao Paulo GP | Bottas says “At that moment I tried my best” at the start of the Mexico GP,  while Shovlin admits “we knew that lap one would be one of vulnerabilities”
Fuente imagen: https://twitter.com/MercedesAMGF1

Now that the dust has settled from the dramatic opening lap at the Mexico GP,  Valtteri Bottas reflected on the incident that landed him in the hot seat with both his teammate Lewis Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff. While Bottas acknowledged there was more he could have done to prevent Max Verstappen from gaining the lead, Mercedes head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin also spoke up about the incident adding a sense of clarity on the matter.

During the press conference on media day ahead of the Brazilian GP, Bottas revisited that first lap incident at the Mexico GP.

“If I’m very honest to myself if I look back, I say it again it’s easy to say afterwards, probably I could have done things different,but in that moment I felt I was making the right decisions," replied Bottas.

In hindsight, the Finn stated that there could have been a chance to block Verstappen but ultimately he did the best he could in the heat of the moment. 

“If I could re-live the moment maybe there was a way to block Max or prevent him going outside. Maybe he would have had a chance to go inside, I don’t know. It’s one of these things.

“At the moment I tried my best and that’s all I can do. I’ve obviously watched the videos and if I would be in a same situation again maybe I could do a better job, maybe not.”

Despite Mercedes' front row lockout at the Mexican GP, Andrew Shovlin explains how worrisome the first lap was for the team due to the complications involving the tow.  

“It’s a very long run. Of all the circuits we’ve got a front row lock-out, we were worried about all the things that might go wrong at the start with tows.", 

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track is notorious for its long straight in the first sector that leads into the first braking zone. Shovlin discussed how the uncertainties of this part of the track can be problematic for the drivers at the start of the race. 

“The drivers talk about how they can choreograph themselves. But the reality is, once the lights go out, it’s very difficult to stick to your plan because it’s never quite as you might imagine.”

Shovlin disclosed how the unlucky circumstances unfolded in the opening lap, as Hamilton was able to get a better jumpstart than Bottas which put the Brit at his teammate’s side where both were unable to defend against the Red Bull car of Max Verstappen.  

“It was almost unfortunate for us that Lewis got a better jump than Valtteri,” he said. “None of the actual launches were bad at all but Lewis got a good jump and that put him alongside, so he was then unable to tow off Valtteri.

“Then obviously if you watch it and you’re watching from an overhead shot, it’s very easy to look at what they could have done differently to prevent Max having that opening on the left side. But the reality is we knew that lap one would be one of vulnerabilities and it wasn’t really for bad starts, it was just the way that it all shook out. They weren’t able to block him.”

In addition to the bad start Mecedes had at the Mexico GP, Schovlin revealed that the team’s braking performance was not as strong as that of Versatppen and Red Bull.

“I don’t think we’re as good as them braking for turn one, Max does a very good job of that,” he said. “And ultimately, that was another area where we were a bit weak. We weren’t able to brake deep enough.”

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