Valtteri Bottas has said tyre warm-up when driving the Mercedes W12 is now an issue in cooler temperatures and not just in warmer conditions.
The usual rule of thumb in recent seasons past is that the hotter it is at a particular track, the more vulnerable Mercedes become to perhaps being beaten come race day.
The Silver Arrows have attempted to address this problem with their 2021 challenger but, in doing so, the car appears to be more sensitive to cooler conditions now, which is increasing the risk of their drivers not being able to switch the tyres on as quickly as they would like.
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) April 26, 2021
“I think it is a bit overall a thing with our car,” Bottas said.
“Over the years we quite often struggled in hot conditions and cold has been normally good.
“So we are really trying to develop the car that we don’t overheat the tyres but that becomes overall a negative that if we need to get temperature quickly into the tyres, some other cars can do it better than us.”
That perhaps can go some way to explaining why the Finn was struggling to make any impression in emerging from the midfield at Imola, where it was cold all weekend.
Bottas revealed tyre warm-up was also unpredictable during his qualifying session in where he was only able to qualify P8 on the starting grid.
“For me, personally compared to Lewis, it was slower than average,” Bottas reflected.
“Sometimes you get it to work like, for me in Q1, when I did a much faster time than in Q3 I got them to work but for some reason, I just couldn’t get them to work in the same way in Q3.
“It’s all about one or two degrees surface or core tyre temperature. It’s hard to explain.”