Valtteri Bottas conceded to dodging numerous bullets en route to the eighth victory of
his Formula 1 career.
The issues were so severe with the Mercedes' W11 that boss Toto Wolff has revealed he came close to retiring both Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
It led to the drivers warned on a couple of occasions, notably by chief strategist James Vowles, to avoid the Red Bull Ring's kerbs
"We had some issues with some sensors that were getting damaged by the vibration of the pretty harsh kerbs here, so I had to avoid kerbing," said Bottas.
"That costs quite a bit of lap time, and when you’re in the lead, safety car after another, and by the last one I was like “come on”, because in the lead you just want things to be constant and trouble-free.
"So there were many variables. I managed to dodge many bullets today and get the win."
Asked whether the problem was amplified by team-mate Hamilton filling his mirrors, Bottas added: "Initially it was a tricky one, because I was watching in the mirrors and I could see Lewis still pushing pretty hard and making use of all the track – but obviously you want to prioritise the reliability.
"It took a couple of laps to really optimise the new way of driving and avoiding the kerbs. At least… the kerbs here, the more you go onto them, the vibration just kind of ramps up. So you get a feel for what is still okay and what is too much."
Bottas also confirmed he and Hamilton were never given orders to hold station, with the team instead trusting the drivers to fight fair and compete around the problems.
"At any point, there was no call from the team that we would stop racing each other but I got the message that Lewis also has to avoid the kerbs, so in that sense, we were in the same boat," confirmed Bottas.
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