Bottas talks about mid-race change in strategy and what went wrong

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who was forced to exit the Spanish Grand Prix due to a suspected engine problem, believes that his his change to a one-stop approach could have paid dividends had he finished the race.

Many considered Bottas to be quite lucky after he survived contact with Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 1, drifted behind Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, at which stage it was decided to move Bottas to a one-stopper.

Although Bottas had just changed his tyres on lap 26, he was soon forced to retire after smoke was seen rising from his Mercedes W08.

Following an overnight problem on Friday – one that saw Mercedes break their curfew for the first time this season — the Finn was seen using the engine which had completed the opening four races. He was noticeably out of sync with Hamilton.

Yet, he said that he was feeling quite positive about the way the race was going and was paying very little emphasis on how the previous couple of days had panned out.

“I was feeling good today, I didn’t think about it at all to be honest,” he said of using his old engine.

“The problem was the beginning of the stint I didn’t have enough pace, so we changed the strategy and tried to go one-stop.

“It could have paid off with the two cars in front, Lewis and Seb, but they got nearly a free stop with the Virtual Safety Car.

“In the end, it was unlucky with the engine, we thought it could do one more race but it seems it couldn’t take it anymore.”

On the first corner contact, Bottas said, “I tried to carry speed but for sure we didn’t collide on purpose, it’s a shame we collided, it was very unlucky for those guys, just a small touch really.”

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