Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2020

Bottas expected to resume Hamilton fight before retirement

2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas was hopeful of resuming his fight for the lead with Lewis Hamilton before a power unit problem which put him out of the Eifel Grand Prix.

Mercedes suspect an MGU-H fault caused the loss of power which led to Bottas’s retirement following a Virtual Safety Car period before the race reached half-distance. “It’s unlucky,” said Bottas. “What can I say?

“Just during the VSC I started to lose power and it never recovered. It was quite a big loss of power so something to do with the power unit. I don’t know any details yet. It’s unlucky, it was good fun until then.”

Bottas had fought hard with his team mate to hold onto his lead at the start. But Hamilton took the lead from him after Bottas locked up and ran wide at turn one during a light rain shower.

“At the race start we had a good battle,” said Bottas. “There was no way I was going to let it be easy for him. I’m glad I could maintain the lead.

“Obviously then later on I had the lock-up into turn one so I lost the position. It meant I stopped early.”

Bottas set some quickest sector times following his pit stop, then lost time passing Daniel Ricciardo before his power unit failure struck.

Bottas said “the new tyres were starting to feel pretty good” and suspected he could have “undercut” Hamilton to regain the lead. But his team mate pitted during the VSC period, and was able to maintain his lead over Bottas before the power unit problem struck.

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2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “Bottas expected to resume Hamilton fight before retirement”

  1. Bottas ruined his race when he missed turn 1 and damaged his tyres way too early. Then the VSC put him behind Verstappen. How could Bottas figure he could be fighting for the win?

    1. At most he’d have been battling Verstappen, catching up thanks to the usual SC conjured out of thin air by Masi.

      1. @david-br Yes, exactly. Although I probably fell foul of the title and the insinuations/imaginations by the article of what Bottas “said”/intended rather than what Bottas actually said.

  2. not gonna happen with the vsc huh

  3. José Lopes da Silva
    11th October 2020, 15:23

    I expected that Bottas did not lose position to Hamilton even before the pit stops.

  4. People on this comments section, in particular Verstappen’s supporters, treat him like he is a bag of dirt, but he is quick.
    His problem is that he is harder on the tyres than Hamilton. His lock up happened because after keeping Hamilton out of DRS range on the first 10 laps or so, his tyres began to fade and Hamilton was quickly closing the gap and he tried to fight back and made a mistake.

    My bet is that he wasn’t going to win this regardless of the lock up.

    The SC by the end could’ve helped him to claim back 2nd place, but that is as far as he would get.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      11th October 2020, 15:42

      Everyone is quick. People in the comment section say that even Stroll is quick.

    2. Exactly, Bottas is fast but more heavy footed. That lock up cost him hugely. And that was before they went on to the mediums, Hamilton having been far more comfortable (and quicker) on them yesterday. Bottas was never going to catch Hamilton once had messed up. Verstappen? It would have least been an actual race for position. Presumably he’d have been behind Max on the last SC. Could Bottas have got past? Maybe, but unlikely.

    3. As a Bottas ‘hater’, I was delighted to see him fighting Hamilton hard on the start. I was fully expecting him to yield into turn 1, but he kept his foot down on the outside and then got the inside into turn 2.

      Shame his race unravelled after 10 laps.

  5. He ruined his tyres and would have struggled to even finish without another stop. Hamilton and Verstappen would have run longer without the SC so I think Bottas would have led before he needed a second stop that the others wouldn’t need.

    Bottas once again guilty of going for a qualifying setup.

  6. I was gutted when his engine blew as I wanted to see if he could’ve got by Max. From the moment he locked up he handed the race to Hamilton, who never really put a foot wrong today.

    1. he was already behind Verstappen by that point thanks to the VSC

  7. This goes to show it’s not just about having the fastest car, you also need to know how and when to manage the car. A winner isn’t just the fastest, he’s also the most skilful.

    Some will put this down to bad luck, but I have to wonder if Bottas was also taking more chances with the new power units, where Hamilton chose to drive within himself.

    I would not be surprised to learn Bottas qualified with a higher engine setting, where Hamilton had his car setup for the race.

    1. @Ajaxn
      I 100% agree. its not about having the fastest car. Bottas proved that it’s how you handle the car that determine’s if your a good driver or not. Hamilton pressurized Bottas into a mistake. Hamilton is better on his tyres and cooling down the car and waiting till he is ready to make an attack.
      To all those people who insist Hamilton only wins in the best car then go on YouTube and watch Hamilton in todays this race again, and while your at it watch again this years British Grand Prix where Hamilton won with a 3 wheel car, and also the styrian grand prix qualifying, where Hamilton beat Mad Max in the wet by 1. 2 seconds.
      You dont have to like someone to admit they are truely great. Many people did not like ex boxer Mike Tyson, but only a fool would deny he was a great fighter.

    2. Ajaxn Interesting idea about the engine settings. Would Mercedes allow the drivers to diverge?
      ince, I’d already forgotten about the 3-wheel Silverstone finish! Spectacular.

    3. Interesting which could be possibly true. But as david said we don’t know if that is how Mercedes works with the different modes. They both had new engines for this race so something different was happening in Bottas’ car compared to Hamilton’s.

      But if there is only a slight difference in the engines Hamilton is the one who gets the better.

  8. David Hamilton produces many spectacular performances. So Many that it’s become so normal that forget how great he is. Remember Monaco last year when he held off Mad Max?

  9. Joakim Järnström
    11th October 2020, 20:08

    I don’t know if I should cry or laugh when reading some of the comments. When Lewis had engine problems in 2016 he was unlucky, when Bottas has problems he is a bad driver. Do some of you actually think that Bottas has a higher engine mode than Lewis!? Still IMO Lewis is the most complete/best driver on the field, and Bottas is the best wing man and a top 5 driver, and yes I am a Finn.

    1. I think you should cry. Comparing one engine related issue to what Lewis suffered in 2016 is an empty argument.

      Plus no one is blaming Bottas’s retirement on him. They are merely asking questions – especially in light of what happened in Sochi where Bottas asked to ne put om alternative strategy to his teammate in the race.

  10. Will someone mention Lewis won this year because of unreliability, like Hamilton fans always say for Rosberg?

    It was for the first time in awhile, that Bottas came out swinging. It was good to see. He might not win a title this year, but racing like that will atleast get him in to the conversation.

    1. Why would someone do that? Hamilton does not depend on Bottas’s reliability to win.

    2. @jureo – No one in full control of their faculties would mention that – especially as Bottas hasn’t suffered 8 engine related issues this year – including missing qualify 3btimes, starting from the back of the grid 3 times, and having a dnf whilst leading the race.

      When all that happens to Bottas and Lewis wins the championship, then people will be well within their rights to bring that issue up.

    3. @jureo As @kbdavies says, Hamilton had far worse reliability issues in 2016. He also won more races and was fairly obviously the better driver that year, despite Rosberg’s strong performance.
      That said, I’ve always had a residual feeling that Hamilton lost the title, or Rosberg won it, at Japan. Even after the Malaysia DNF, Hamilton still had it within his own power to win the championship by winning all 5 remaining races, even with Rosberg in second. He did – bar one, the race after Malaysia where he was outqualified and had another poor race start, finihing third. Yes, asking a lot for Hamilton to win all 5 rather than just 4. But it was within his grasp. So it seemed less harsh than the 2007 loss, when – leaving aside the team messing him around in China – it was the gear box issue in the last race in Brazil which lost him the championship and he had no chance to remedy the situation.
      I don’t really see how you expect anyone to buy the idea Bottas will have lost this championship because of this DNF though. Seriously? He started the race over 40 points behind and at best would have fallen another 10 behind. Of course if Bottas wins all the remaining races on merit and still loses by a few points, these points lost because of the retirement will matter. Just now, that’s a very remote possibility though.

    4. @all I know, just trolling you.

      Bottas is nowhere near a title, and suffers reliabiloty issues, the moment he gets close to the right steps.

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