Valtteri Bottas says he struggled to comprehend what was happening during the disastrous pit stop failure that ended his Monaco Grand Prix.
Bottas ran second to Max Verstappen through the first stint and came in to the pits in order to carry out his mandatory tyre change.
But Mercedes was unable to remove his front-right tyre due to the wheel nut machining itself on the front-right axle.
It meant Bottas remained stationary in the pit box until Mercedes was ultimately forced to retire his car.
“I couldn’t believe what was happening,” he said. “It was a big mistake by us, as a team, to learn from.
“Either if it is human error or a technical issue, it doesn’t matter, we need to find the solution.
“If it’s a human error, we need to support the guy who did it, but we need to learn from that – that’s the main thing in my mind. And, at the same time, I’m super-disappointed.
“I was kind of counting and thinking, “now we’ve lost a place to [Carlos] Sainz, then probably to [Lando] Norris” and then it was just getting so long that I couldn’t believe it.
“I think I never had an issue that my race ends in the pit stop, so it’s really strange, really strange feeling.”
Bottas accepts it would have been “tricky” to challenge Verstappen for victory but was left to lament having a potential 18 points slip through his grasp.
“The start was good,” he said. “Max, he defended and I had to lift. The pace was good, I felt the tyres at Red Bull they lasted a bit better today, the Soft tyres, so he pulled a gap towards the end of the stint.
“My front left tyre was graining, I’m sure with the Hard it would have been OK, but obviously it would have been tricky to challenge for the win. Of course we would have tried it, but at least we could have left today with a good podium.”