Bottas could have had a tire failure – Wolff

Formula One – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, French GP 2021. Valtteri Bottas

Toto Wolff has said that Valtteri Bottas could have had a tire failure at any point in the final laps of the French Grand Prix, such was the state of his tires.

The French Grand Prix was one of strategy, with tires degrading far quicker than expected. It was Mercedes who failed in the strategy gamble, and it almost cost them points, as Bottas was dangerously close to having a blowout, Wolff has revealed.

“We had no choice but to pit Bottas first,” Wolff said. “Valtteri’s tire started to have a vibration and towards the end we were really worried the vibration.”

“The vibration came through the suspension already and he could have had a failure at any time because he flat-spotted the tires. We knew that we were going to trigger the stops too early, but no choice.”

“We thought that maybe Perez would get a penalty for overtaking outside of the track limits so we wanted Valtteri to try and stay within five seconds. It was really balancing between the penalty or going for the fastest lap and we gambled we lost.”

Wolff will want to hope for a miracle in Austria, a Red Bull favourite, as F1 heads there for two rounds to end this triple-header.

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