Bottas ready to “drive differently” if gearbox issue persists

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Mercedes has encountered a fundamental issue with its 2020 challenger that threatens the team with gearbox failure.

For this reason Mercedes instructed its drivers to stay off the kerbs as much as possible during the Austrian Grand Prix. Toto Wolff has indicated earlier this week that the team will be introducing new components at the Styrian Grand Prix, in an effort to solve the issue.

Now at the Styrian Grand Prix Thursday press conference Valtteri Bottas said he believes Mercedes will be successful in fixing the issue.

“The team has tried to do things to fix it already for this weekend,” said the Finn.

“Obviously it’s limited in the regulations how much you can do and how much you can’t when it’s about gearboxes.

“But they’ve localised the issue. I have full trust that we’re going to fix it, just when is the question.

“On Friday we are running quite a [few] sensors to try and monitor what’s going on and see if the issue will reappear. But if it will, yes, for sure we will need to be on [the] cautious side.

“We obviously want to finish the race and get the full points that we can. But that’s something we should be more wiser [about] after Friday – to see how things are.

“But [we] could potentially have to drive differently, we’ll see.”

Despite these problems Bottas had his most successful start to the season yet, he won the Austrian Grand Prix, while his mail title rival Lewis Hamilton finished fourth due to a 5 second penalty. The Finn was asked if he believes he can maintain momentum in his quest for the 2020 title.

“It’s still only one race done, and of course you get a positive feeling from starting the season like that and you want to carry the positive momentum and keep the confidence that you get from that.

“But in the end, work as normal. Each race weekend is an individual weekend, you again reset and start from zero. And you try to do things better than what you did the previous race weekend.

“You take the learnings and try to always raise the bar for each one, so I think that’s the plan really for the season.

“The races will come pretty rapidly, so being efficient on the learning side and how you work with a team.

“This is going to be the key,” concluded Bottas.

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