Bottas: Slump in form in Baku is "weird"

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas has admitted he was confused about his "weird" lack of pace in the Azerbaijan GP.

Bottas: Slump in form in Baku is "weird"

After troubled practice sessions in Baku his team-mate Lewis Hamilton found extra speed for both qualifying and the race, but Bottas was never able to recover.

He qualified only 10th having contributed to second place for Hamilton by giving him a tow.

Although he maintained 10th early on he faded to 14th at the red flag, claiming 12th by the finish after Hamilton went off at the restart and Williams driver Nicholas Latifi was penalised.

The difficult Baku race came immediately after a disastrous outing for Bottas in Monaco, where an issue with a stuck wheel forced him to retire in the pits.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“It was actually quite similar feeling to yesterday and also Friday,” he said when asked by Autosport about the cause of his disappointing race. “Really the main issue was lack of pace and just not being quick enough.

“Today quite early on in the race I could see that I just didn’t match the cars ahead, especially when one of the Aston Martins was ahead of me, I just couldn’t keep up. I’m confused, and it’s really weird.”

Hamilton opted for a lower downforce rear wing for qualifying and the race, but Bottas said it was too early to say if that made the difference.

“I think it’s something we need to review, but we know it’s not going to be much. It’s going to be maximum one-tenth, so I don’t think that’s they key thing.

“We started the weekend with the same wing, and still I’ve been all the time behind Lewis by quite a big margin.”

Bottas admitted that Baku was one of the most difficult events that he has experienced.

“I can’t remember this kind of weekend," he explained.

Read Also:

"There’s been weekends that I’ve had bad sessions, but always at point I’ve had the pace. But this weekend it’s been all the time there, and during the weekend I haven’t understood what is wrong.

“I know myself when there’s the limit and I can’t go faster, and then you’re still six, seven, eight-tenths behind. It’s not normal. So it’s something we need to understand before going to France.

“We might find something in the car, but if not, then the only thing, it must be the tyres. But we’re running the same tyre pressures and same temperatures. So I’m keen to find out, but at the moment I don’t know.”

Bottas hopes that the Baku race will just be a blip before F1 returns to a more traditional venue in Paul Ricard.

“France of course it’s really different, there’s very long corners, high-speed corners," he added.

“I think one big issue we’ve struggled with here is tyre warm-up, especially on the front axle. So that should be a bit easier in the next race at least and then we’ll see. But I think lots to learn from this weekend, but also lots to forget.”

shares
comments

Related video

The Red Bull design that avoided a flexi-wing protest
Previous article

The Red Bull design that avoided a flexi-wing protest

Next article

Ferrari appoints Benedetto Vigna as new company CEO

Ferrari appoints Benedetto Vigna as new company CEO
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022