Valtteri Bottas was unable to validate his pole position with the first victory of his career. The Finnish driver kept the first place until the pit stops, but his poor pace collapsed the first six places to the point of allowing Sebastian Vettel to perform an undercut (stop before and take advantage of the greater speed of the new tires) and be a leader after the safety car.
The origin of this was a generator broken in the grill, which prevented the mechanical Bottas adjust the tyre pressures. So he explained Toto Wolff, which brought the gap into more of a psi, of pressure measurement used in the Formula 1. “Our generator broke down on the grill and we were not able to adjust the pressures of the tyres than Valtteri, so he began with the levels completely wrong. We knew we would suffer. I don’t know exactly how much, but it was more of a PSI (pound per square inch). Everyone is looking to be at the minimum pressure set by Pirelli, which is already too high, so that everything went from bad to worse”, ” said the austrian, who recognized that such a circumstance allowed Sebastian Vettel to attack the leadership. “With Sebastian second, there was nothing that we could do and opened up the opportunity to make the undercut. They did it very soon and allowed them to win the race”.
As it happened in Australia, the overheating came to Mercedes, although in this case for different reasons. The pressures are excessively high, restricted to a large extent the choices of Bottas. “The effect is basically like a big overheating, as if I had shavings of rubber on the rear tires do not work as they are supposed to do. The surface is overheated in a small part of the tire, balance and traction are limited”, said Toto Wolff. Pirelli claimed that the minimum pressure at 20.5 psi, a figure too high to prevent punctures and ruptures due to excess of demand.
worst of all was that, once the stop on lap 13, things did not improve and Valtteri Bottas continued to have oversteer as a result of the limited grip in the rear tires.
The Finnish driver not found explanation and admits that nothing of what you tried to minimize the problem it worked. “there is an explanation for the that the back did not work in the relays two and three, was not normal. I used all the tools, the differential and the balance of the braking, trying to cut the oversteer. When the tires were new, it was ok, but the temperatures went up very quickly and it became more complicated. It was a race strange, it is not easy to explain”.