'Bottas's car is still in the garage with the wheel attached'

24-05-2021 11:57 | Updated: 24-05-2021 13:42
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'Bottas's car is still in the garage with the wheel attached'

Valtteri Bottas once again had a little devil on his shoulder in Monaco; this time the Finn was the victim of a failed pit stop. The culprit was a wheel nut that wouldn't come off and is still on.

Longest pit stop ever?

Is this Mercedes' attempt at the longest pit stop ever? A bit silly of course, but the fact is that the wheel nut in question is still holding the right front wheel of Bottas' car. In fact, the team will only be able to remove the wheel nut again at the factory.

"We didn't get the wheel off, the car is still in the garage with the wheel attached," technical director James Allison told Motorsport.com. "It will have to be ground off. We'll have to get the dremel out to grind through the leftover nut. We'll do that at the factory."

What went wrong?

Allison explains again exactly what went wrong at the pit stop. "If we don't put the wheelgun right on the nut, it can grind away the surface of the nut. It's a bit like using a Phillips screwdriver not sitting straight on the crotch of the screw. The slots of the screw head are then ground away, after which it is simply impossible to get a screw out. You no longer have a surface for the screwdriver to grab onto."

"The same thing can happen with our wheel nuts when the wheelgun starts turning and grinding away the surface of the nut," the Mercedes chief continued. "Looking at the power of the wheelgun, you end up with a blunt surface and the screw is turned crazy, until the drill head has nowhere to grab onto. That happened at the pit stop."

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