Allison Explains Extreme Measures Mercedes Will Undertake To Remove Stuck Wheel Nut from Bottas’ F1 Car

Published 05/24/2021, 2:26 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 22, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during qualifying REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


It all unfolded badly for Mercedes in Monaco when a failed stop caused Valtteri Bottas’ retirement from the race. And the problem is such that they still can’t remove the stuck tire from his F1 car. So, they will take drastic measures at their Brackley factory to get it off.

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When Bottas had pitted for fresh compounds, the mechanics proceeded to remove the old worn-out tires. However, the front right was left attached when the wheel gun couldn’t remove the wheel nut. It was because the wheel gun accidentally chipped away the driving faces of the nut; leaving the gun with nothing to grab hold off on the nut.

Not only did they have to retire the car, but they couldn’t take it off at all in the garage in Monaco. Technical Director, James Allison revealed that they will use a high-power drill back at their Brackley base to cut through the wheel nut.

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“We eventually didn’t get the wheel off, it is sat in our garage with the wheel still on it. It will have to be ground off, get a Dremel out and painfully slice through the remnants of the wheel nut. We will do that back at the factory,” explained Allison.

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The wheel nut is custom-built by every team. While Ferrari are having a great time with their pit-stops because of a new design, Mercedes are struggling, on the contrary, this season. So, Toto Wolff may know where the issue lies for them, as well –

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“We need to review the design, we need to review the material of our wheelnut, because the mechanics that operate the wheelnuts need to do it in a way that you can’t machine it off.”

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas before the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

Wolff added, “And as a matter of fact, a mechanic that did that is one of the best, and one of the fittest in terms of pitstop speed, that the team has. So there are always things coming together. It’s never someone’s fault, it’s always multi-faceted.”

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Wolff will be hoping that they can solve this problem. Otherwise, it could prove to be very costly in their title fight with Red Bull.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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