Bottas planned Hamilton undercut before DNF

Date published: October 11 2020

Valtteri Bottas PA

Valtteri Bottas’ quest to salvage the 2020 title fight took a major hit after he retired from the Eifel Grand Prix.

After putting his Mercedes on pole Bottas was able to just about hold the lead against team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap.

But the Finn’s afternoon would start to fall apart shortly before his first stop after a big lock-up at Turn 1 invited Hamilton onto his tail with the Briton soon completing the overtake to capture the race lead.

And Bottas’ afternoon then ended in disaster when he began to slow, telling Mercedes over team radio that he had no power.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and McLaren’s Lando Norris would pass Bottas as the Silver Arrows desperately tried to find a fix, but it was to no avail.

On Lap 19 Mercedes would call Bottas in to the pits to retire from the Eifel Grand Prix.

With Hamilton in the lead of the race and currently holding the fastest lap, his lead in the Drivers’ Championship over Bottas is set to grow to 70 points.

“Unlucky. During the Virtual Safety Car I started to lose power, and it never recovered,” he told Sky F1.

“It was quite a big loss of power so something to do with the power unit, I haven’t got any details yet.”

Speaking about his battle with Hamilton at the start where he had initially lost out to his team-mate, Bottas said: “At the race start we had a good battle, there was no way I was going to make it easy for him.

“I’m glad I could maintain the lead, obviously then later I had the lock-up into Turn 1 so I lost the position but it meant that I stopped early and the new tyres were starting to feel pretty good so I had no doubt that I would carry good pace and probably [would have] undercut.”

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