Valtteri Bottas regrets the “big mistake” during the pit stop that forced him to retire and lose the opportunity to finish on the podium in Monaco.
Bottas started the race in second since Charles Leclerc did not start. He hoped to fight against Max Verstappen for the win, but a problem during the pit stop forced him to retire.
When he pitted, the front right tire did not come out, and it was stuck. The mechanics tried to take it off, but it did not work, and Valtteri had to turn off the car and retire. Mercedes said after the issue that “the wheel nut machined onto the axle and couldn’t be removed”.
“I don’t know what happened in the pitstop, to be honest, I don’t know yet if it was human error or a technical issue,” Bottas said.
“But in any case, we need to learn from it. It’s a big mistake by us, and it should not happen.”
Bottas admitted that he had the pace to fight Max for the lead of the race.
“I think otherwise we could have fought for the win,” Bottas said.
“Red Bull and Max, they were really quick, so it would have been difficult, but at least we could have gotten a second place today with good points but we lost them.
“Max was quick and I think they managed to get the soft tire to last a bit longer in the first stint, and once you get onto the hard tire, there’s not much happening.
“I don’t know. We’ll never know if we could have challenged or not.”