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Bottas slates Mercedes' "defensive" Bahrain strategy

Bottas slates Mercedes' "defensive" Bahrain strategy

F1 News

Bottas slates Mercedes' "defensive" Bahrain strategy

Bottas slates Mercedes' "defensive" Bahrain strategy

Valtteri Bottas was critical of Mercedes' defensive strategy he believes cost him a shot at victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Bottas finished the Formula 1 season-opener third to team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen following their titanic scrap over the closing laps.

The margin to the lead pair was magnified by a late pit stop for fresh tyres to score the extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race, but the Finn was far from the lead battle when instructed to pit.

Declaring himself disappointed by his result, Bottas said: "A good thing as a team we got good points but from my side, it felt like, at least for me strategy-wise, we were on the defensive side rather than attacking which is not quite normal.

“Not ideal and then I had a slow pit stop which in the end took away any opportunities but I think at times the pace was good but I’m disappointed.”

Verstappen had started from pole but Bottas believed Mercedes was in a stronger position to fight for the win, with both cars qualifying inside the top three while the Dutch driver's Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was 11th on the grid.

This position was further strengthened when a formation lap problem for Perez forced the Red Bull driver to start from the pits.

Further bemoaning the result, he added: “For sure, we managed to have the two cars in that way.

"We also had different tyre choice so we could really play with the strategy but I still think from my side there should have been more to get today.”

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