After Mercedes could not remove the front right tire of Valtteri Bottas during yesterday’s Monaco Grand Prix, the team announced that it was still stuck on the Finn’s car and will require greater means, at the factory, to get rid of it.

At the 31st lap of the race, while Bottas was chasing Verstappen for the lead of the race, his team called him in to change his pair of soft tires into harder ones. However, the mechanics could not remove Bottas’ front left tire, due to a technical problem that has damaged the driving faces of the wheel nut.

After the incident, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff did not want to find a culprit but said his engineering teams would redesign the piece that caused them the loss of a podium opportunity and the lead in the Constructors’ Championship.

“We need to review the design, we need to review the material of our wheel nut because the mechanics that operate the wheel nuts need to do it in a way that you can’t machine it off,” Wolff said.

“And as a matter of fact, a mechanic that did that is one of the best, and one of the fittest in terms of pit stop speed, that the team has.”

“So there are always things coming together. It’s never someone’s fault, it’s always multi-faceted.”

The technical director of the German team James Allison gave a further explanation of what the Austrian team boss meant by ‘machining the wheel nuts off’ and explained at the same time why the tire was still on the single-seater to this date.

“We eventually didn’t get the wheel off, it is sat in our garage with the wheel still on it,” Allison said.

“If we don’t quite get the pit stop gun cleanly on the nut, then it can chip away at the driving faces of the nut.”

“We call it machining the nut. It is a bit like when you take a Phillips head screwdriver, and you don’t get it squarely in the cross of the screwdriver.”

“You start to round off the driving face of the screwdriver slots, and then you just simply can’t take the screw out of whatever it is you are trying to take it out of because you have no longer got the driving faces.”

“A very similar thing happens with our pit stop nuts if the gun starts spinning and chipping off the driving faces of the wheel nut.”

“Given the power of the gun, you can end up with no driving face and you just machine the nut down to a place where there is nothing left to grab a hold of, and that is what we had today.”

“It will have to be ground off, get a Dremel out, and painfully slice through the remnants of the wheel nut. We will do that back at the factory.”

Hello there! My name is Thibault and I am a French motorsports fan. Hope you'll like my articles :)