After starting the race in P3, Valtteri Bottas had a lonely race in third place, only animated by a failed pit stop in the middle of the race. The Finn is dissatisfied with his team’s strategy.
Valtteri Bottas struggled throughout the race weekend, still not managing to fully understand the surprising W12 behavior. The Mercedes driver is very dissatisfied with the strategy Mercedes choose for him. The Finn thinks the team was lacking aggressivity and did not give him the chance to fight with Hamilton and Verstappen in the thrilling last-lap battle that occurred yesterday.
“I actually wanted to go long in the second stint, to have more fresh tires in the last stint, (…) My feeling was that we were more passive than aggressive today, for me, which is the opposite that we should have been but we’ll have a look at what we should have done better,” Bottas says.
Indeed, if you look at Pirelli’s ‘pit-stop diagram’ you can easily see the tendency Bottas had to follow his teammate’s strategy throughout the race. The Mercedes went for an early first pit stop in order to undercut Verstappen, before engaging a very long last stint that could have cost them the win as the Dutchman was flying in the last 10 laps of the race thanks to fresher tires.
Nonetheless, Bottas would have preferred extending his second stint in order to model his strategy on Verstappen’s one to give him a better chance of coming back.
“We managed to have two cars [at the front] and that way we also had different tire choice, so we could really play with the strategy, but I still think from my side there should have been more to get today (…) So you know, unfortunate, but we got the fastest lap at the end so that is an extra point, and more points than Red Bull,” says disappointed Valtteri Bottas, who will have to bounce back in Italy in order to stay in the championship fight.