The frustration is great at Valtteri Bottas after the Grand Prix of the seventieth anniversary of Formula 1. The Finn saw that on Sunday Mercedes was trumped by the tire strategy of the Red Bull Racing of Max Verstappen, who won his first race of the season.
Bottas started from pole at Silverstone and on a softer tire than Verstappen, but that theoretical advantage turned out not to be so great in practice. The Dutchman successfully continued to drive on the hard tire for a long time and was faster than Bottas after his first pit stop.
"Obviously this was a very frustrating race," said the disappointed Mercedes driver at Silverstone, according to Motorsport.com . "As a team we were asleep at one point when Max managed to stay ahead of us. My strategy was far from ideal."
When Verstappen changed tires for the first time after 27 laps and came on the track second behind Bottas, it did not take long before the Limburger had taken over the lead from the Finn. Six laps later, both drivers surprisingly entered the pits at the same time.
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. (Photo: Pro Shots)
'I went slower and slower'
According to Bottas, that was the moment when he could at least have been competitive with Verstappen. "I could have kept up with Max, but as the end approached the tires didn't cooperate. Red Bull clearly had no blisters on the tires, so that made all the difference."
It was not the first time that Mercedes had problems with the tires after both Lewis Hamilton and Bottas punctured at Silverstone last week. "Those holes in the tires just make you lose grip in the corners and slow down and slow down. This was disappointing, but we have to keep going."
Thirty-year-old Bottas not only saw the victory go to Verstappen, but also lost his second place in the World Cup position to the Red Bull driver. He now has 73 points, four less than Verstappen and 34 less than classification leader and teammate Hamilton.
See also: View the results of the second race at Silverstone and the World Cup standings