Mercedes discredit Bottas’ clutch claims

Date published: May 16 2019 - Jamie Woodhouse

Valtteri Bottas' issues at the start of the Spanish GP may have been down to a lack of grip on the pole spot, not a clutch issue say Mercedes.

Mercedes believe Valtteri Bottas‘ poor start at the Spanish GP was actually due to poor grip on the pole spot, not a clutch issue.

The Finn blew away his competition during qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but a poor getaway allowed team-mate Lewis Hamilton to take the lead – one which he would never relinquish as he claimed his third win of 2019.

After initially putting the issues at the start down to a clutch problem, Mercedes believe that a lack of grip on the pole grid box could have been to blame, but they want to carry out further research to be sure.

“We believe it was just a lack of grip on the pole position side,” team personnel said during the Pure Pit Wall post-race debrief.

“If you look at the starts of the support racers, more often than not the P2 guy, or even P3 or 4 had a better start than pole.

“Also you get a bit of wheelspin, so the wheels and the clutch are slipping, there’s a bit of an interaction.

“We’re going to get all of the bits and have a good look at them this week to understand it.

“But, at the moment we believe the number one issue was actually the grip, not an issue with the car.”

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