Mercedes boss Wolff refutes Bottas' "sleeping" claim

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that information gleaned from Valtteri Bottas's tyres encouraged the team to let Lewis Hamilton run a long middle stint in the 70th Anniversary GP.

Mercedes boss Wolff refutes Bottas' "sleeping" claim

As the leading W11 on the road, Bottas was given priority at the stops, and after a stint on the hard tyre he made his second stop on lap 32.

However, instead of coming in a lap later – as was the case at the first round of stops – Hamilton took his hard tyres all the way to lap 41, and indeed at one stage the world champion was hoping that he could reach the chequered flag without a second stop.

Ultimately, the strategy ensured that Hamilton got ahead of Bottas to claim second place, although both men lost out to race winner Max Verstappen.

Wolff says the team was able to examine the tyres that came off Bottas' car and, having decided that there was still some life in, made the call to leave Hamilton out for as long as possible.

After the race Bottas said that his team was caught sleeping, a suggestion that Wolff refuted.

"I just spoke to Valtteri," said the Austrian when asked about his driver's comments. "I don't think we were sleeping, but I accept his perspective. I think we just had the slower car today, and we just admit that.

"His point was should we have done the opposite to Max.

"As a matter of fact, this wouldn't have changed anything, because Max would have come out with a fresh tyre, and we would have continued with a tyre that wasn't in the best state any more, and he just pitted in front of us. So not sure what we could have done better.

"Obviously he's not in a happy place that he was P2 and Lewis was P3, but it was the learning that happened on track when we got Valtteri's tyre in, we saw there was actually a lot of rubber left, and we extended Lewis's stint, albeit that there were big vibrations but a lot of rubber.

"Therefore, he was getting quicker and quicker, the more the rubber went down, and that is why we could extend the stint, and eventually Lewis overtook Valtteri.

"It's clear he's not happy, and I totally respect that. None of us are happy today with the result."

Read Also:

Wolff insisted that a combination of factors had led to Mercedes struggling with the tyres in the race.

"I think we had indications in the past that our relative gap was not as large to our competitors when it was hot," he said. "It's a little bit simplistic to just say it's hotter.

"It comes down to the fact that we have a car with high downforce, and obviously when conditions change, parameters change, like temperatures going up, compounds getting softer, pressures going up, we have to acknowledge that the Red Bull is a pretty fast car, and that's what we have seen today.

"We have these days in the past, and came out stronger, and I'm really looking forward to Barcelona. We have a handful of days to assess, come up with solutions, test them on the Friday in Barcelona, and then hopefully have a better race on Sunday. These days where we lose are the days where we learn the most."

shares
comments

Related video

Binotto: Vettel's spin hurt his race more than strategy

Previous article

Binotto: Vettel's spin hurt his race more than strategy

Next article

Horner surprised others didn't try Verstappen's tyre strategy

Horner surprised others didn't try Verstappen's tyre strategy
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event 70th Anniversary GP
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Prime

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

Formula 1
Apr 22, 2021
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
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