Mercedes F1 Director Reveals Pit Crew Member’s Ghastly Injury During Bottas’ Stop in Mexico

Published 11/10/2021, 12:15 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Mexico Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 6, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the pit lane during practice REUTERS/Andres Stapff


Mercedes had a fairly unlucky Sunday in Mexico. However, no one was as blighted as Valtteri Bottas. From pole to P17, followed by two slow stops, and a race dominated by the view of McLaren’s rear wing; all to cross the line in P15. However, as much as fans feared the 11-second pitstop would be a repetition of Monaco, in reality, the Mercedes pit crew put a lot of effort into the stop.

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Although Mercedes isn’t sure what caused it, the wheel was stuck on its axle. That’s why the gunman on the front-left tire gunned the tires nuts on again and repeated the process. This is the standard procedure according to James Vowles, who also revealed the amazing dedication of the pit crew.

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In order to put their driver back on the track, when all else failed, the gunman removed the wheel himself. “The gunman put his hand into the wheel and effectively brute-forced it loose off the axle and burned himself slightly in doing so.” James added, “it was a brave action by him.”

The pit crew in Formula 1 are really built differently, as undoubtedly the machine parts of the W12 would have been scorching hot. Yet, with the competition at hand, it was an admirable move on the pit crew’s part.

Mercedes took positives from the weekend

Although Mexico wasn’t exactly a highlight for Mercedes, Vowles reveals that in the adversity, a few things stood out. First, the fragility of the championship. Although Red Bull is now a point behind the Silver Arrows, Mercedes is confident in themselves and the four rounds ahead of him.

Formula One F1 – Mexico City Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 7, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

“This championship, and trust us we have been in the lead of it sufficiently, with a points gap, it’s never over until it’s over. One DNF for both for ourselves or Red Bull would completely change how this championship forms itself at the end of the season, and ultimately the points gap is tiny.”

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Vowles lists Mercedes’ pace on a Red Bull track as a positive as well. “We’ve out-qualified Red Bull at a track where they were stronger… across the last few races, even at tracks that perhaps don’t suit us as much; we can be there or thereabout.”

The other positive, according to the strategist, is the team is now intrinsically stronger than ever. “Despite this punishing triple header, are pulling in closer than I have ever seen before… It’s a bonded team, a team that’s here to do one goal, which is to win both the championships.”

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As Mercedes analyzes their bittersweet Mexican GP, its eyes ahead to the race in Interlagos- another Red Bull stronghold.

Watch this story: Ranking the Best Special Edition Liveries of Red Bull F1

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Shreya Sanjeev

605 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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