Mercedes Explain Unusual Three Tires Pit Stop for Bottas in the Bahrain GP

Published 12/03/2020, 3:39 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during a press conference after qualifying FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The Bahrain Grand Prix last Sunday was unusual and action-packed from many perspectives. However, it was not a joyous night on the track for Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas at the end of it all.

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Despite qualifying to start P2 in the race, he slipped down the order and had a very ordinary first lap. Following the race restart, he suffered a tire puncture, which forced an early pit-stop that saw him lose track positions.

Later on in another pit-stop in the race, however, Mercedes elected to just change three tires on the car. The team’s track engineer director Andrew Shovlin has now explained why they decided to do that.

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Mercedes changed the three tires that had come from “the start of the race”

Speaking in the team’s race debrief, Shovlin stated, “The reason that we only changed three tyres was that those tyres were the ones that came from the start of the race. So, the ones that Valtteri did the grid start and then he did the restart on.”

Somewhere close to the Lap 5 mark, Bottas suffered a puncture on his front-right tire. This forced him to come into the pits and get a fresh set of tires put on. In the process, lost out on some valuable track positions as well.

The 47-year-old continued and said, “Now very shortly after the restart, he got a puncture on the front-right. We were running out of tyres as well at this point.”

“We wanted a set of Medium tyres, we had lost the front-right but the other three tyres were in good condition. And that was why we elected to just change those, leaving the front-right on the car,” concluded Shovlin.

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Bottas eventually ended the Bahrain Grand Prix with a P8 finish

Even though Bottas got stuck in the backfield positions for some time, he eventually made it up the grid and into the points finish places. However, there was a sense of resignation from the Finn after, who had a pretty dismal night for his own standards.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during practice Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

Ultimately, Bottas crossed the line in P8 and brought home a minimal points finish for his efforts. Overall, it was one of those tough nights for Bottas, which he would want to put behind him.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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