Valtteri Bottas, who was forced to retire from the Qatar Grand Prix, has questioned Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff for the timing of his radio message.

Lewis Hamilton was on fire in Qatar, storming to victory and closing the gap between himself and championship leader Max Verstappen to a meagre 8 points with 2 races still left.

While this must have given Mercedes plenty of reason to be happy, Bottas was far from impressed with his team boss. The fact that the race did not pan out so well for the Finnish driver would obviously have added to his frustration.

Wolff has often given messages through the team radio at inopportune times through the season, and this repeated itself in Doha.

Bottas had started the race with a 3-place grid penalty. Contrary to popular belief, however, he was unable to get going throughout the race. This is what led Wolff to send him a hasty message, with the Austrian outfit desperate for points heading into the final few races.

With things going south for Bottas, Wolff was heard saying, “Come on Valtteri, get these cars.” It was clearly just to get the adrenaline rushing in Bottas, and it seemed to have worked for a bit.

Bottas unhappy with timing of Wolff’s message

Bottas tried his best to put on a performance of note and would’ve wanted nothing less than a podium finish.

Valtteri Bottas. Credits:

This proved to be his undoing though, as he pushed the car to its limit and a puncture eventually ended the race for him as he was forced to retire. Interestingly, this was the first time Bottas ever retired in his F1 career.

Following the race, Bottas spoke about how the timing of Wolff’s message was not right.

“It’s normal. He’s living in the moment,” he said, according to The Express.

“It’s while I was trying to make a move. It was surprising then when I got the [message]…maybe the timing was not right, but no problem.”

Bottas then spoke on the puncture that led to his early finish. He himself was quite surprised at the outcome.

“There was no warning, no vibration, the pace was feeling consistent, the grip was okay. I didn’t run any wider in the kerbs. It just happened,” he said.

Bottas felt the timing of the puncture was ‘the worst’ and confessed that he initially thought it was just a change in the wind.

“Initially I thought the wind was getting stronger on the main straight but it felt like the car was stable,” he said.

“Then it punctured in the first corner, at the most unlucky point as well just after the pit exit.”

The penultimate race of the 2021 F1 season is set to take place in Saudi Arabia next Sunday.

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