Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas seems to attract a lot of mishaps. He had one of his frustrating races yet this season after he had to retire when his tyre wouldn’t come off during a routine pitstop at the Monaco Grand Prix.
It was a good decision on his part to climb out of his car and walk away as the wheel is still stuck to it.
Bottas still in disbelief
“Sitting in the car at the pit stop, I knew it was a slow one,” said the Finn after the race. This was his second DNF of the season.
“And I was calculating Sainz getting past, then Norris, and when it got to 30 seconds, I couldn’t believe it.”
It has been almost 24 hours and the team has tried to get the wheel off from the car. But all efforts have failed.
F1 engineer explains what happened
“If we don’t quite get the pit stop gun cleanly on the nut then it can chip away at the driving faces of the nut, we call it machining a nut,” explained F1 designer and engineer James Allison.
“It’s like when you take a screwdriver and don’t get it squarely in the screw and you round off the face and then can’t take the screw out as you haven’t got the driving faces,” he added.
“If the gun starts spinning and chipping off the driving faces of the wheel nut then in quite short order, given the violence and power of the gun, you just machine the nut down to a place where there’s nothing left to grab a hold of.
Bad race for Mercedes
This was the first time since 2017 that Mercedes did not get a podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix.
“We didn’t get the wheel off,” Allison confirmed.
“It’ll have to be ground off, get a Dremel out and painfully slice through the remnants of the wheel nut, we’ll do that back at the factory.”
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