Valtteri Bottas has revealed that Mercedes were urging him to keep pushing his car as much as possible in order to catch Max Verstappen in the moments before he crashed out of the German Grand Prix.
The wet conditions at the Hockenheimring caused mayhem all day on Sunday as drivers struggled to generate enough grip on their tyres. Particularly troublesome was Turn 16 just before the end of the lap, as the run-off area featured a slick tarmac which resulted in numerous drivers venturing to the left.
Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz, and Kimi Raikkonen all lost control at the corner in a similar fashion to Bottas, but the Finn’s car suffered by far the most damage.
At the time of the incident, he was fighting Verstappen for P1, and he admits he was perhaps too overzealous in his attempts to make up the ground, even if his engineers told him too be aggressive.
“I learned a lot,” he said after the race.
“I made a mistake myself but the team also told me to push hard to get to the podium. Obviously I pushed a bit too much in that corner and lost the rear-end.
“My mistake. Maybe I should have tried to stay more calm and take my time. Maybe if I didn't try that hard I wouldn't have made it to the podium, but at least I could have got some points which would have been important.”
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Bottas reckons that mistakes are always possible in those conditions, but his goal is always to avoid them as much as possible, in every race.
These kind of conditions. It is so easy to make a mistake,” the Mercedes man continued.
“I should have done the race without mistakes, that's always the goal.
“But it happened at the wrong time, in the wrong corner.
Luckily for the Finn, Hamilton finished outside of the top 10 and didn’t earn a point, meaning the gap to the top of the championship remains the same for the moment.