(Motorsport-Entire.com) – With eighth place, Valtteri Bottas did not experience a glorious race in Sachir at the weekend, but the Finn came closer to his goal. Because competitor Max Verstappen was already eliminated in the first round , the Mercedes driver was able to increase his gap to third place in the World Championship and is about to secure the runner-up title.
The match ball, which was definitely within reach after Verstappens Aus, could not be transformed into Sachir by the Finn. 12 He has points ahead of the Red Bull driver before the last race , who must at least get on the podium and hope for Bottas to make a mistake. If Bottas is at least fifth, he is sure of second place overall.
“Of course, second place is better than third,” says Bottas. “And with the car the crew deserved to be first and second.” The runner-up title is not his priority: “I just want to win races,” he clarifies. “It will also be a more normal track and not a Mickey Mouse course. Additionally, it will be easier to make a difference.”
In Sachir Bottas had the great likelihood of winning the race win. With the pole space and a new team-mate, the Finn actually had the trump cards in his hand. But George Russell was able to pull away at the Commence and determine the race.
Bottas was only given an opportunity after his pit stop, because he should extend his first stins. Formula 1 followers are likely to have asked themselves at this point whether this corresponded to the so-called “racing intend” of Mercedes. Because actually it always means that no driver should be strategically preferred.
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“In the morning we talked about whether the second driver can do something differently than the first if there is a two-stop strategy”, says Mercedes Motorsport Director Toto Wolff. In terms of tires, both should have got the same compounds – without the chaos at the pit stop.
But what happened with Bottas’ later first stop? “He was allowed to extend his stint by three laps,” says Wolff. “Lewis was allowed to extend his stint in the past because his race was so intestine battle. We allow it when someone has a huge race and is faster than the team-mate. Then we never intervened.”
Russell’s tough maneuver against Bottas in Turn 7 is also okay for the Austrian: “The battle is absolutely within what is allowed for two teammates,” he emphasizes. “There was nothing that was even remotely hard.”