Mercedes boss Wolff refutes Bottas’ claim to ‘sleep’

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As the W11 leader on the road, Bottas had priority at stops, and after a stint on the hard tire he made his second stop on lap 32.However, instead of coming in a later lap – as was the case in the first stopping lap – Hamilton took on his hard tires until lap 41, and indeed, at one point, the world champion was hoping be able to reach the checkered flag. without a second stop.

In the end, the strategy got Hamilton ahead of Bottas to take second place, although both men lost to race winner Max Verstappen.

Wolff says the team were able to examine the tires that came off Bottas’ car and, after deciding there was still life, called for Hamilton to be left for as long as possible.

After the race, Bottas said his team were caught sleeping, a suggestion Wolff refuted.

“I just spoke to Valtteri,” said the Austrian when asked about his pilot’s comments. “I don’t think we are asleep, but I accept his point of view. I think we just had the slowest car today, and we just admit it.

“His argument was that we should have done the opposite of Max.

“Actually, it wouldn’t have changed anything, because Max would have come out with a new tire, and we would have continued with a tire that wasn’t in the best condition anymore, and it just got on. So I don’t know what we could have done better.

“Obviously he’s not happy that he’s P2 and Lewis P3, but that’s the learning that happened on the track when we put Valtteri’s tire on, we saw him There was a lot of rubber left, and we extended Lewis’ stint, although there was a lot of vibration but a lot of rubber.

“As a result, he was getting faster and faster, the more the rubber fell, and that’s why we were able to extend the stint, and eventually Lewis passed Valtteri.

“It’s clear he’s not happy, and I totally respect that. None of us are happy with the result today. “

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Wolff insisted that a combination of factors led Mercedes to have trouble with the tires in the race.

“I think we had indications in the past that our relative gap was not as big against our competition when the weather was warm,” he said. “It’s a bit simplistic to say it’s hotter.

“It comes down to the fact that we have a car with high downforce downforce, and obviously when conditions change the parameters change, like temperatures go up, compounds soften, pressures go up, we have to recognize that the Red Bull is pretty fast. car, and that’s what we saw today.

“We have those days in the past, and we’ve come out of it stronger, and I’m really looking forward to being in Barcelona. We have a few days to evaluate, find solutions, test them on Friday in Barcelona, ​​then we hope to have a better race on Sunday. These days we lose are the days when we learn the most. ”

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