Bottas says there's a lot to learn and also forget after 'weird' Baku weekend
The Finn was at loss of words but suspected tyre warm-up issues.
Valtteri Bottas says there's a lot to learn and also forget from F1 Azerbaijan GP weekend, as the Finn chases answers after a lean period.
It hasn't been the 2021 season which Mercedes' Bottas was hoping for, with multiple third place finishes and host of dramas. If F1 Monaco GP had the worst luck for him, the Azerbaijan GP was more about his worst performance from the six races we have had.
From the get go he didn't click, which was a touch similar to how Lewis Hamilton was. The Brit's qualifying, though, was better, thanks to the slipstream, but the Finn's bad luck was back with a red flag not allowing Bottas to set a better lap time.
In the race, Bottas just couldn't get through, with McLaren's Lando Norris managing to get through him in the pits. Mercedes chose not to stop him under the safety car period, and post that, he was a sitting duck, as he lost nearly four places.
Eventually, he ended up outside the points, not only damaging his points tally, but also mentally. Post-race, Bottas noted that nothing clicked for him and that he has lots to learn and also forget in the coming days, to be ready for French GP.
"The race was actually quite similar feeling to Saturday and also Friday that really the main issue was lack of pace and just not being quick enough," said Bottas. "Quit early on in the race I could see that just didn’t match the cars ahead, especially when Aston Martin was ahead of me, I just couldn’t keep up. Still, confused and it’s really weird.
"I think it’s something we need to review with the different wing I had, but we know it’s not going to be much. It’s going to be maximum one-tenth. We started the weekend with the same wing and still I’ve been all the time behind Lewis by quite a big margin. Looking at other things, tyres would be the most logical reason.
"We might find something in the car upon review, but if not then the only thing it must be the tyres, but you know, we’re running the same tyre pressures and same temperatures but yeah so we need to find out but at the moment I don’t know," summed up Bottas, as he reflected on the toughest race weekends he has had in his career and future course.
"I can’t remember this kind of weekend," said Bottas. "There’s the weekends that I’ve had bad sessions or at point I’ve had the pace, but this weekend, it’s been difficult. Still during the weekend I haven’t understood what’s wrong. I know myself when there’s the limit and I can’t go faster, and then you’re still six, seven, eight-tenths behind. It’s not normal.
"So it’s something we need to understand before going to France. For me at least it was more of a struggle than I thought. I thought it should be better than Monaco but obviously it was far away from that, and France of course it’s really different, it’s very long corners, high speed corners.
"I think one big issue we’ve struggled here is tyre warm-up, especially on the front axle, so that should be a bit easier in the next race at least and then we’ll see. But I think lots to learn from this weekend but also lots to forget," summed up Bottas as Toto Wolff put it down to his 'confidence' - since Mercedes were nowhere in Baku, he lost all of it.
Here's Valtteri Bottas losing places: www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-azerbaijan-grand-prix-raeikkoenen-and-giovinazzi-overtake-bottas.1701824574089296786.html
The Brit talks about his Baku issue as team boss adds on his side.
[Image courtesy; Daimler Media AG] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]