Valtteri Bottas explains how it felt to wait, while Mercedes’ pit crew struggled to get the wheel off his car, which eventually led to his retirement.
Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire from the Monaco Grand Prix, because Mercedes was unable to take off his right-front wheel. After the race, the Finn explained how the whole situation looked from his perspective.
“Sitting in the car at the pit stop, I knew it was a slow one,” the Finn said.
“And I was calculating Sainz getting past, then Norris, and when it got to 30 seconds, I couldn’t believe it.”
Later the Finn said Mercedes needs to get to the bottom of the situation.
“It was a big mistake by us, as a team, to learn from. If it is human error or a technical issue, it doesn’t matter, we need to find the solution.
“If it’s a human error, we need to support the guy who did it, but we need to learn from that, that’s the main thing in my mind. And, at the same time, I’m super-disappointed.
“I think I never had an issue that my race ends in the pit stop, so it’s really strange, really strange feeling.”
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As far as his race went, Bottas believes he could have went after a good result.
“The start was good. Max, he defended and I had to lift. The pace was good.
“I felt the tyres at Red Bull they lasted a bit better today, the soft tyres, so he pulled a gap towards the end of the stint.
“My front left tyre was graining, I’m sure with the hard it would have been OK, but obviously it would have been tricky to challenge for the win.
“Of course we would have tried it, but at least we could have left today with a good podium,” concluded the Finn.
After the race Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director explained that Bottas’ pit stop problem was due to a damaged wheel nut.
“The nut was damaged to the point where it was never going to come off, so we had no option but to park the car,” Shovlin said.