Valtteri Bottas had a rough day at the office in Hockenheim on Sunday.
Valtteri Bottas may be in danger of losing his Mercedes F1 ride for 2020 after crashing out of the German Grand Prix. Coupled with teammate Lewis Hamilton’s 11th-place finish, it wasn’t a good weekend in Hockenheim for the team.
For Bottas, however, the result may have put an even bigger target on his back as the team considers its options for next season.
Without a confirmed drive for 2020, Bottas can ill afford to be making mistakes. The race-winning performances of the early races have disappeared, and Bottas has regressed to his 2018 performances – driving at a level far lower than expectations.
“I learned for sure a lot,” said Bottas. “I made a mistake myself. The team also told me to push harder. I was pushing as hard as I could to get to the podium so, obviously pushed too much in that corner and lost the rear end so my mistake. Maybe I should have tried to stay more calm and taken my time but maybe if I didn’t try that hard I wouldn’t have reached the podium but at least I would have got some points which would have been important.
“In these conditions, it’s so easy to make a mistake. Obviously, I should have done the race without mistakes, that’s always the goal, but now it’s happened at the wrong time, the wrong corner and that’s it.”
For Hamilton, it was also far from a good day. A crash saw him forced to pit again, and an error on pit entry saw him hit with a five-second penalty, on top of the 50-second pit stop he had already endured.
Finishing 11th, it was Hamilton’s worst finsih since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
“It’s been a bad day, a bad weekend and there’s not much to say really,” said Hamilton. “It probably the worst day I’ve had in the office for a long, long time.
“You live and you learn. I don’t really know what happened today to be honest, but I’m glad it’s over and we’ve got more races up ahead. We just need to focus on regrouping and coming back strong.”
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