(Motorsport-Complete.com) – Valtteri Bottas sounded at a loss. He couldn’t explain himself immediately after crossing the finish line in the Portugal Gigantic Prix which is why he had so no chance compared to his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. The delay at the finish was 25 seconds significantly more than usual in of the Formula 1 season 2020. But there is an explanation for it.
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Andrew Shovlin, the chief Mercedes racing engineer, said on the Monday after the race: “I think the decisive factor is the tire temperature. Because if it does you bring the temperature into the tires, then the grip increases. “
Usually in modern Formula 1 you fight in a race” to 90 percent “with overheating tires, says Shovlin. And then the drivers are encouraged to drive as gently as possible on the tires in order to cool the tires.
Special weather situation in Portimao
In Portimao, Formula 1 has just under 20 degrees Celsius but experienced a completely different scenario. “In such cool conditions you find yourself in exactly the opposite explain. The light rain made that even worse, because the new asphalt, which was already oily, became even more slippery,” explains Shovlin.
At this point in time, Mercedes “perhaps had tires that were too cold,” continues Shovlin. “We then managed to do it, but it was pointed out: If it had rained some more, we would hardly have been able to ride on slicks any longer.”
But that was the case the rain is over soon and Mercedes is back on the road at normal pace after difficult first laps. And then Bottas suddenly fell significantly.
Became once Hamilton did better in comparison
The fact is: Until Hamilton’s pit stop in lap 40 Bottas was 9.5 seconds behind his teammate. After his own tire change in lap 41 the distance was 11, 2 seconds. And at the finish after 66 laps it was 25, 592 Seconds.
The difference according to Shovlin: “Lewis got the Onerous tires to work pretty quickly and well, but Valtteri was hanging stuck in the traffic of some backbenchers. “
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“He therefore had to drive their hump and could not set his real pace. That cost him a lot of time because he couldn’t get past as fast as it would have been possible on warm tires. “
Then the decisive sentence in the comparison between Hamilton and Bottas falls:” To At this point there was a difference of about ten degrees Celsius in the tire temperature. That was then noticeable in about a second official lap. “
Bottas’ riddle about his loss of form in the race is solved according to Shovlin “That’s why there were quite a few gaps between the cars at some points in the race.”