Valtteri Bottas says his problems at the last race in Imola are ‘100% tire-related, but that even the controversial Mercedes DAS system, which is banned for this season, would not help him because he was plagued by the temperature of the rear tires.
In Imola, Bottas was almost half a second slower in the qualifications than his teammate Hamilton, who won the pole position, and due to a very close ranking, the Finn finished only eighth. Problems with warming up tires in cold conditions in Italy continued in the race, which started on a wet track, and Bottas could not warm up his tires even when they switched to dry tires.
This led to a fight with Russell in Williams, in which Bottas was not allowed to find himself given the speed of the car he was driving, and after the collision, both drivers gave up. “I would say that the problems in qualifying at Imola, now that we understood everything, were 100% up to the tires,” Bottas said.
"My Q1 time [with which he was the fastest in Q1] would have been enough for the second starting row in Q3, and I finished eighth." “So that’s an area we need to pay more attention to. We understand the problem, but it happens from trail to trail.
” "With DAS, it would certainly help, but in Imola, the main problem for me was the temperature of the rear tires, not the front ones." “DAS is for front tires only. I'm sure it helped us last year, but not necessarily in Imola.
Mercedes and Red Bull
Bottas was very fast in Portimao last year and with the fastest time in Q2 still holds the track record, but Hamilton was faster in Q3 on medium tires, won the pole position and later victory even though he lost the position to Bottas in the first laps.
The Finn says it’s hard to say what to expect from the power relationship between Mercedes and Red Bull on this track. "So far we have raced on two very different tracks," Bottas said of the first two races of the new season.
"Bahrain is quite unique in terms of the asphalt surface and tire overheating, and Imola is also completely different, it has really smooth asphalt and the conditions were pretty cold." “There are a lot of questionnaires about asphalt here, I think it has evolved a lot since last year.
You just don't know. " "The only thing we as a team focused on was repairing my car and putting in some upgrades to see how they work."