After two very alarming practice sessions for Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas did not weigh his words, saying that there is something “fundamentally wrong” in the car’s setup, pointing out a disturbing lack of grip.
Things went from bad to worse for Mercedes on their first day of practice in Baku. At the term of the second practice session, although Max Verstappen admitted he preferred his morning setup and felt slower in the afternoon, the fastest of the two silver arrows was still almost 1 second slower than both Red Bulls.
After an already very tough Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton said he would make sure to have the right talks with his team to not repeat the mistakes they have done. However, for now, the conclusion is clear – Mercedes lacks pace and has a lot of work insight to bounce back on Saturday.
Bottas proved to struggle less than his teammate around the principality. However, this weekend, the balance has seemingly been inverted and the Finn pointed having a worse feeling than he had in Monaco after his first two outings of the weekend.
“It was tougher, yes. Monaco wasn’t easy, but, at least we were more or less there by the time of qualifying and now we seem quite a bit off,” Bottas admitted.
“So it’s been, definitely, a more challenging day than we anticipated and we need to find out exactly why.”
“Honestly, the main thing is the lack of grip and for that, there can be many reasons. So at the moment, I don’t know. Not an easy day. And a lot of work to do.”
“It feels like it’s just overall grip, the balance is not that far off.”
“So I think there’s something fundamentally wrong and we need to figure out what.”