Bottas seemed to have a perfect weekend at the Eifel Grand Prix. First he qualified in P1 by a significant margin and then managed to fight off Lewis Hamilton to keep his lead in the race. However in the end Bottas was forced to retire due to an issue with his power unit.
“What can I say? During the VSC [Virtual Safety Car] I started to lose power and we never recovered,” said the Finn after the race.
“It was quite a big loss of power so it was something to do with the power unit. I have no details yet. It is unlucky but it was good fun until then.”
“It was a great start, we had a great battle and there was no way I was going to let it be easy for him [Lewis Hamilton].
“I was glad that I could maintain the lead but obviously, later on, I had the lock-up into turn one and lost the position and it meant I stopped early.
“The new tyres were starting to feel good so I have no doubt that I had good pace.”
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With Hamilton’s lead over Bottas in the championship rising to 69 points, the Finn concedes his title hopes are all but gone.
“It’s disappointing, of course, very disappointing, and one of these things that you can’t do anything for.
“Obviously I did have the lock-up before that. I think still I had all the chance for the win because that made me commit to a two-stop quite early, and I think a two-stop at the end was the best strategy.
“I knew there was all to play for, even after that lock-up in the drizzle. Then the engine thing, I couldn’t believe it.
“Now I understand the gap to Lewis is pretty big in terms of points. Definitely would need a miracle.
“But as always, [there is] no point to give up. You need to keep the bar high and keep trying. We’ll see.
“Disappointed is the best word,” concluded Bottas.
Asked about the reason for Valtteri’s DNF, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the team was still not sure.
“We don’t know yet,” said the Austrian.
“We know that it looks like it was around the MGU-H but we haven’t found the root cause yet. We retired the car, not only because we wouldn’t have scored points but we wanted to damage the power unit.
“I think we should be fine. It’s important to understand what actually happened as we introduced new power units this weekend and there’s still six races to go so we need to get on top of the problem.”
Wolff also commented on the little tussle Bottas and Hamilton had at the start of the race.
“I enjoyed the racing between the two of them because I’ve never doubted that there will be any contact.
“These guys respect each other, they know very well what the boundaries within this team are.
“I think that Lewis braked a little bit late and had full lock, and that obviously pushed Valtteri wide but Valtteri, in true style as a rally driver, kept the foot down and deserved to preserve the position. I enjoyed that.
“In terms of the championship, Valtteri is, I just saw him before, if somebody’s resilient it’s him. We had a good chat.
“I said ‘sorry for the failure’ I believe that a two-stop that he said himself, would have been actually something that could have worked out to win the race but it is what it is.
“This is still a mechanical sport and today, it was us that let him down,” concluded Wolff.