Valtteri Bottas: “I had all the chance for the win”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas says he felt “there was all to play for” before he was forced to retire from the Eifel Grand Prix due to an engine issue.

Bottas started the Eifel Grand Prix from pole, but later lost the lead to Lewis Hamilton due to a lockup. The Finn believes he still could have won the race at that time, had he not been forced to retire due to an engine issue.

“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,” explained Bottas.

“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.

“The lock-up, I think it was mainly the drizzle. I really had less grip under braking and it was a really sudden lock-up.

“And of course being the first car out there who is approaching that corner, I’m sure Lewis saw pretty quickly that I locked up, so I’m sure he had a chance to react.

“It was a mistake, but also in tricky conditions. When I stopped, and when I felt the tyres were starting to work, and when I got past Ricciardo, I thought it can still be really good, and at least I knew I was committed to two-stop.

“The [Virtual Safety Car], maybe it was a bit unlucky for me, because the others had a free stop. In any case, there would still have been opportunities,” concluded Bottas.

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Although it is not yet known what exactly cause Bottas’ engine issue, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff confirms the problem is MGU-H related.

“It looks like it was around the MGU-H but we haven’t found the root cause yet,” said the Austrian.

“We retired the car, not only because he wouldn’t have scored points, but also because we didn’t want to damage the power unit.

“I think we should be fine [to use it again]. It’s important now to understand what happened.

“We introduced new power units this weekend and there are still six races to go, so we need to get on top of the problem,” concluded Wolff.


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