Valtteri Bottas Explains ‘Undriveable’ Comment After Bahrain FP2

Valtteri Bottas could only manage a lap time good enough for P5 in his Mercedes W12 in Free Practice Two (FP2).

Valtteri Bottas on Mercedes undriveable comment at Bahrain 2021 -

Mercedes had a poor pre-season test in Bahrain earlier this month, and they appeared to be on the backfoot again in the first two practice sessions of 2021.

READ: Ex-Mercedes Motorsport Boss Responds To ‘Sandbagging’ Claims

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen topped both free practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix, building on his strong pre-season test. 

During Free Practice Two (FP2), Valtteri Bottas got on the radio and described his Mercedes W12 as “undriveable.”

Speaking after the session, which the Finn finished fifth in, Bottas explained his remark and said he was feeling “puzzled” after struggling to hook a lap together.

“The last long run we did was pretty inconsistent, and I couldn’t really put any laps together, and the car, as I said, felt undriveable at times,” Bottas said.

“A bit puzzled, but it’s Friday and that’s why we practice.”

READ: McLaren Boss Believes Hamilton & Bottas Will Be Replaced With This ‘Killer’ Driver Line-Up

Despite Bottas evidently struggling on Friday, he nevertheless said he feels the team have taken a step forward since pre-season testing earlier this month, which took place at the same track.

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“I think the inconsistency in the balance, especially in the rear end of the car, was one big [issue in pre-season testing], and in terms of set-up approach we’ve tried to make it better,” Bottas said.

“It felt better than in testing in terms of how the car is feeling, so that’s good… but it’s not yet quite what I would like to have underneath me.

“At least it was a trouble-free day and no big issues, but I think the main thing in my mind is that we still have plenty of work to do if we want to fight for the pole and for the win.”

Meanwhile, Sir Lewis Hamilton said he “definitely” believes Mercedes have made progress since pre-season testing but stressed that they still have more work to do if they want to close up to Red Bull.

“We’ve done a lot of work coming into the past week and I think we have taken a step forward. But we’ve still got more to do,” Hamilton said.

“With tyres and downforce reduced, the global balance has just shifted and it’s not where we wanted.

“This weekend it’s looking better but still not perfect so we’re just working as hard as we can… I know we still have a hill to climb but we’re staying positive.

READ: ‘Lewis Hamilton Wanted To Work Less & Get Paid More’ – Ex-F1 Driver

“We thought Red Bull would be as fast as they are, if not faster, so we know they’re leading at the moment.”

Hamilton noted that his former team, McLaren, are “looking great” and said he will be keeping an eye on their long-run performance to get a sense of if they might be a threat on race day. 

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