Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin says Bottas made a “brave decision”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says both Hamilton and Bottas were presented with a tactical choice in quali and went differently about it.

In the final moments of Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying Mercedes presented Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton with a choice of tyre they want to use and how many laps of fuel they wanted. They both chose to go with a medium tyre, but while Hamilton decided to do two flying laps, Bottas chose only one.

“Valtteri had done a great lap in Q2 – the fastest lap of the whole qualifying session,” Shovlin told Sky Sports F1 after qualifying.

“So he felt like he could do it on lap one. It’s a brave decision for him because you have one shot and if you make a mistake you can’t go again, with the tyre can run multiple laps.”

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Shovlin notes the session was very close, with even Red Bull not far behind.

“It was really, really close with Red Bull and even the two tyre [soft and medium] are close.

“It’s a different balance and you get different lap times.”

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