Valtteri Bottas criticised Mercedes' strategy in the French Grand Prix for being “too focused” on a failing one-stopper and claimed he could have been “fighting for the win” had he got his way and made two stops.
Bottas was clearly frustrated during the race and was heard on the team radio saying: “Why the f**k does nobody listen to me when I say it’s going to be a two-stopper? F**king hell.”
Speaking after the race, Bottas said: “I think the winning strategy was two stops. It’s easy to say afterwards but that’s how it is. As a team, we were too focused on completing the one-stop thinking it’s the best but it wasn’t.
“If I did a two-stop, I would have been on the podium and fighting for the win, that’s for sure."
Bottas was running second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the latter stages but slipped back to fourth after being passed by eventual winner Max Verstappen, who did a two-stopper, and third-placed Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, on a one-stop race.
He explained: “I had no front tyres left for the last 15 laps so I just had to try to get the car home. It was not fun today, the last stint. You feel like a sitting duck.
"Of course, I tried everything I could, tried to finish on the podium but the tyres were completely gone, so no chance.”
Bottas “did a rubbish job” - Rosberg
Mercedes planned for Bottas to defend hard against Verstappen, with the hope of preventing the current championship leader from getting past and making a clear attack on leader Hamilton before the end of the race.
Bottas failed to defend, leaving Verstappen free to pass both Mercedes cars before the finish and the team’s former driver Nico Rosberg slated the man who replaced him for failing to put up any defence.
Rosberg said: “As a driver you can’t judge the situation out there so the team has to make the decision and it was the right decision because they had to keep him out there to protect the win.
“Valtteri did a rubbish job in defending. He blocked completely unnecessarily, he braked way too late, went straight on, so Max had such an easy time getting past.
“He would have got past anyway, but at least cost him a bit more lap time. It was not a very good way of defending and it could have been done in a much more smart way.“
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