Valtteri Bottas started well in Qatar. On Friday the Finn showed a lot of speed, but on Sunday it all went downhill for the Mercedes driver. He was given a three-place grid penalty by the stewards for ignoring a yellow flag and also had a bad start.
In addition, Bottas also got a flat tire that eventually caused him to retire. Team boss Toto Wolff therefore has to do with his driver. “Valtteri’s day was hell”, Wolff calls in conversation with, among others RacingNews365.
“He fell back into no man’s land after the start, but he recovered. He was really on track to get a podium, but then he got a flat tire,” sums up the team boss. The Austrian calls the timing of the flat tire very unfortunate.
Bottas’ Mercedes was too damaged
“He was the first to have a flat tire and it happened at the beginning of the lap. After that there was no downforce in the car and we had to park it. It doesn’t get any worse than that,” said Wolff.
There was therefore nothing for Bottas to do but drop out, says the Austrian. “The car was damaged and also got very hot. The car was simply not fast enough anymore, so we decided to save the engine.”