Despite starting from pole, Valtteri Bottas ultimately managed to only finish in P3. However he did take a point for fastest lap too.
“It was tricky today,” Bottas said after the race.
“I don’t know what happened in the first stint. I didn’t have the pace for unknown reason and we have to take a look at that but I think the second stint was pretty good.
“We had a bit of an issue with a sensor so I couldn’t get Max [Verstappen].”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff later explained the mentioned issue.
“I think, based on our speed on the straights, he might even have managed to pass [Verstappen],” the Austrian told Sky Sport Italia.
“The problem was we had a little gremlin in some engine software that we wanted to eradicate, and that did just the opposite. That is something that we have to fix in our software.”
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Ultimately, Wolff was pleased with Mercedes’ straight line speed in the race.
“We have a good top speed on the straights today. The set-up we chose was the right one. A little to the detriment of downforce and drag, but quick on the straight. That worked well.”
Judging by today’s performance it seems Mercedes has seemingly closed the gap to Red Bull. Wolff believes the two teams are extremely closely matched.
“The car was strong yesterday, which is a positive development. It’s hard to say today, but I think both teams are on an equal footing.
“And you have to take P1 and P3 with the fastest lap,” concluded the Austrian.