Azerbaijan GP: Valtteri Bottas Explains Why Mercedes F1 Are So Slow

Published 06/05/2021, 7:10 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Mercedes don’t seem to have recovered from the horrific Monaco Grand Prix, as the team struggled to find pace in Baku as well. Lagging far behind their rivals, Ferrari and Red Bull, in free practice, Valtteri Bottas hopes to improve by the time qualifying comes around.

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In FP1, Bottas managed to be the 10th fastest as teammate, Lewis Hamilton came seventh on the time timesheet. And FP2 was no better, as Bottas fell down the order by coming 16th, and Hamilton found himself in 10th.

Valtteri Bottas acknowledges that Mercedes weren’t the best

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After the session, Valtteri said, “Yeah I think little bit is not the right word. It was very tricky for us today, clearly lack in pace. It feels like its all over grip you know, the balance is not that far off.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the press conference after qualifying in third position FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“Okay, the car is a bit unpredictable. It feels like lack in grip and sliding around. Yeah so I think it’s going to be a long night tonight,” Bottas concluded.

Watch Story: Toto Wolff Swears, Valtteri Bottas Bares: Funniest Moments From Drive to Survive

How does Hamilton feel about the performance in Baku?

The seven-time world champion didn’t have a great Friday session either. Hamilton was seventh in the first session and failed to improve in the second and found himself in 10th by the end of the day. However, Hamilton feels he had a pretty good day in Baku.

Lewis said, “Honestly I generally had a really good day; it was clean, I got all the laps that we needed, there were not really any mistakes… but just slow. “There’s just no more time in it. We’re definitely quite a chunk down.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Francois Nel

“And I think everyone will be scratching their heads and looking into the data to see how we can improve,” Hamilton concluded.

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Mercedes need to find a quick solution to salvage their weekend before it gets any worse, or else the nightmares from Monaco will come back to haunt them.

With the high-intensity qualifying session just hours away, do you think the Silver Arrow will improve? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

447 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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