Mercedes driver may have ended in third position in the season-opener, but it was very much a race to forget for him. He achieved a podium finish, but he was very much off the pace compared to Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
There was an unfortunate pitstop involved, but it was apparent that Bottas was far from impressed by the time he crossed the final lap. Former F1 driver Marc Surer can see why Bottas would be upset.
Surer believes Bottas was used as a pawn by Mercedes to facilitate a win for Hamilton.
“Wolff doesn’t want to tell the truth. [Mercedes] needed Bottas to put Verstappen under pressure,” Surer said.
“With Bottas’ early stop, they forced Verstappen to change tires as well.”
Bottas himself has admitted that the pitstop was very frustrating for him. Surer feels it allowed Max Verstappen’s tyres to wear out a little more and would ensure that Hamilton would get some relief in the final laps of the race.
However, the pitstop didn’t quite materialise the way Mercedes would have hoped and Hamilton eventually used his skill to defend his lead.
According to Mercedes technical director James Allison has clarified that Mercedes was only trying to do its best to allow Bottas the chance to finish in the top 2.
“He came into the pits on the exact lap that gave him the best chance to get past Max,” Allison said.
“Red Bull had stayed on the track with Max when Lewis had done an ‘undercut’ earlier in the race. So it was clear to us that if we were to bring Valtteri in at a convenient time, Max would face a dilemma.”
Imola is set to get the pulses going once again after one of the greatest races in recent memory at the Sakhir International Circuit. Who do you think will come out on top? Let us know in the comments section below!