Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that Valtteri Bottas was dragged into a “perfect storm” after spinning six times in Formula 1’s Turkish Grand Prix.
The newly-resurfaced Istanbul Park track lacked grip throughout the weekend and that situation was exacerbated by persistent rainfall that struck during qualifying and the race.
Bottas made a strong getaway from ninth on the grid but spun at the first corner and then collided with Renault’s Esteban Ocon into Turn 9 later around the opening lap.
Bottas then spun a further four times in the race as he classified a lapped 14th.
“I think he suffered from what many other drivers suffered that the tyres were simply never in the right temperature window,” said Wolff.
“There were other drivers, I think Max [Verstappen] spun three times and god knows how many others [also had spins].
“Once you’re in that spiral it’s very difficult to set yourself back in a good position mentally and I think this is everything came together for him – the perfect storm.”
Wolff went on to defend Bottas and pointed to his ability to pick up the pieces in the event of Lewis Hamilton encountering trouble.
“I like Valtteri and Lewis – the combination works well,” said Wolff.
“When Lewis has a bad day then Valtteri pulls it off and the other way round, Valtteri had a very bad day and Lewis wins the race.
“I think this combination works really well for the team.”