Bottas had to take care of his gearbox: "I saw Lewis in my mirrors"

06-07-2020 07:23 | Updated: 06-07-2020 07:40
by Matt Gretton
F1 News
Bottas had to take care of his gearbox: I saw Lewis in my mirrors

Valtteri Bottas already recorded his first victory of the 2020 Formula 1 season. Despite leading every lap of the race for the first time in his career, it's a victory that didn't come easy. Due to gearbox problems, the Finn had to stay away from the kerbs, but also keep his biggest competitor behind him: Lewis Hamilton.

The gearbox

After Max Verstappen retired, it seemed like it would be an easier race for Mercedes but the team suddenly had to get back to work. A sensor near the gearbox indicated that there were big problems after Lance Stroll had failed earlier with the same equipment. Bottas had to shift down a gear.

"That was dangerous because I could still see Lewis in my mirrors. It's hard to avoid the kerbs on this track, but after a few laps, I was back in my rhythm. In some places, you really have to take it easy. At the end, we tried [to get] the fastest lap, but without kerbs that wasn't possible," Bottas said in the video call after the race.

Mercedes in trouble

However, due to Hamilton's five-second penalty, the duo had to turn it on at the end. Despite possible consequences with the gearbox, the duo had to drive fast to let Hamilton finish as high as possible. Dangerous, because if something went wrong Valtteri might have lost his victory.

"That wasn't weird for me, because these kinds of situations sometimes just happen in racing. Of course, I want to win the race, but I also think about the points of my team. A dropout wouldn't have been ideal," says Bottas, indicating that there was never any question that he had to leave Hamilton in the lead.

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