Valtteri Bottas surprised Lewis Hamilton's strategy worked out
Valtteri Bottas says he must learn from his defeat at the British Grand Prix, having erroneously believed that Lewis Hamilton’s strategy would be slower.
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli reckoned a two-stop strategy would be the optimum choice but Mercedes was open to the idea of its drivers adopting different approaches.
Bottas defended against Hamilton through the early laps but upon pitting for a first time he committed himself to a two-stop strategy, having fitted another set of Medium tyres.
Hamilton, meanwhile, extended his first stint and exchanged his Medium tyres for a set of Hards, ensuring he did not need to stop again, while also profiting from the timing of the Safety Car period.
Hamilton led Bottas through the second stint, with his Hard tyres lasting 32 laps through to the chequered flag, while Bottas had to come in late on for a set of Softs.
“Definitely there was an idea to split the cars,” said Bottas.
“One of us going for the Hard for the second stint [was the idea] but still the idea was for that car to do Medium-Hard-Medium or Medium-Hard-Soft.
“So one stop honestly was out of the question, and was a mistake from our side. It was by far the quickest strategy for our car – the Medium-Hard – we thought it would be much slower so, for sure, a learning point for us.”
Bottas finished second to Hamilton, his fifth runner-up position of the campaign, and now trails his team-mate by 39 points in the championship battle.
“It was not quite ideal, one of these days, but at least the pace was good in qualifying and the race,” he said.
“Lots of positives to take and also very, very happy for us as a team, we got maximum points and it’s pretty impressive for the teams behind now. That makes me really proud of us.
“In any case I’m still super hungry for the wins so I’m looking forward for the next one in two weeks.”