Mercedes' double-stack pitstop had Bottas "very concerned"

Valtteri Bottas admits he had some concerns about being told to pit on the same lap as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Chinese Grand Prix.

Mercedes' double-stack pitstop had Bottas "very concerned"

Mercedes opted to give both drivers a second pitstop on lap 36 after Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel had pitted over the preceding two laps.

The Brackley team had to respond, knowing that Bottas was more vulnerable to being jumped, and that pitting him first might have unfairly disadvantaged race leader Hamilton. The decision was thus taken to double-stack them.

Bottas realised that pitting both cars on the same lap would ensure that there would be no change in the order over the rest of the race, and he was also worried that he might lose time waiting behind his teammate.

However, Mercedes pulled off an impressive double stop, with the drivers entering the pitlane just five seconds apart, while Bottas lost just half a second relative to Hamilton.

"I was very concerned," said Bottas. "You know you're going to lose time being the car behind, but it was due to the start that I was in that position. I was questioning the team – if if I could stop later, or carry on without stopping – but there was too big a risk in terms of tyre life, if we can make it or not.

"I was questioning because if I could do something different, other than stopping behind Lewis, that was going to be my only chance to win the race. I knew if we were [both] coming in, that's going to be pretty much it unless something crazy happens.

"But I'm glad the stop went well. I lost some time, but minimal, so the team did a good job on that. And now, seeing all the data just briefly, from the team's point of view I think it was definitely the right thing to do, to make sure we were going to be one-two.

"For me, I maybe wanted to take the risk but now, looking at it, I don't think the tyre wear would have been enough."

Read Also:

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed that the team wanted to protect Hamilton's lead.

"It was an interesting situation because it was clear that Valtteri was under pressure from Sebastian," he said.

"So if Sebastian would have stopped he would have undercut Valtteri, so the logical choice is to stop Valtteri first. But if you would have stopped Valtteri, then he would have undercut Lewis.

"So we didn't want to interfere with the order, so that's why we decided to stack. We knew we just about had the gap to stack them properly and gave the commitment to Valtteri that we wouldn't lose him any time, and it was really impressive how the guys did it."

shares
comments
How Ferrari's key weaknesses were exposed in China

Previous article

How Ferrari's key weaknesses were exposed in China

Next article

Leclerc deserved more time before team order - Rosberg

Leclerc deserved more time before team order - Rosberg
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Chinese GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021