Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Monaco, 2018

“Very frustrated” Bottas spent race stuck behind Raikkonen

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas admitted the Monaco Grand Prix was a frustrating affair for him as he started and finished the race stuck behind Kimi Raikkonen.

“It can be very frustrating when you feel you have the pace but there’s nothing you can do with it,” said Bottas.

“It is extremely difficult here to overtake and I was never close enough to Kimi that I could try to attack.

“I think he struggled with his front tyres more than I, but his rears looked in very good condition and he could always get good traction out of the last corner and also into the tunnel. So I never get close to him in the places where you can overtake here, unfortunately.”

Bottas said there was only “a couple of times” when he thought he might be able to attack the Ferrari. “Coming into the main straight, when I was getting close and I was doing everything I could to get closer, get the slipstream and try to have a go but he always had such good traction coming out of the last corner so I could never be close enough to try and dive on the inside going into turn one.

“Actually here turn one is quite easy to cover, it’s not that wide an entry. There was no chance, he didn’t do any mistakes and I could never get close enough.”

Mercedes split their strategies between Bottas, who used super-soft tyres for his second stint, and Lewis Hamilton, who had a fresh set of ultra-softs for the run to the flag. But Bottas said there wasn’t anything the team have done to help him finish higher.

“I think strategy-wise that was the best we could do,” he said. “As we saw, the hyper-soft degraded very quickly for Lewis and me so we decided to split.

“Even though we saw on Thursday that the super-soft wasn’t great for our car, today it worked and it was the best tyre to be on. It was much more robust than any other tyre and it felt like the pace was there.

“But we just couldn’t do anything with the pace. Strategy-wise I wouldn’t have done anything different. It’s just that when you start fifth in Monaco you kind of need to hope something is going to happen in the race because even with good pace you cannot move up the order.”

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Dieter Rencken
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11 comments on ““Very frustrated” Bottas spent race stuck behind Raikkonen”

  1. The amount of drivers voicing their frustrations about not being able to push or overtake at this track is ridiculous. Just goes to show how track position is king regardless of how slow or fast you drive, and strategies alternatives are limited as well. It’s almost like there’s only one thing to focus on in the entire weekend – Qualifying.

    I think Liberty need to really rethink where Monaco is placed on the calendar. It comes just after Spain, which is also quite a boring circuit with it’s own limitations on overtaking. They need to move Monaco to another weekend in the year, and hopefully move it to a time where there is a high chance of rain or unpredictable weather in Monaco. You can’t solve for wider cars or a narrow street circuit easily, and the only saving grace for a track like Monaco is rain. Sad .. but true.

    1. @todfod The Monaco GP like more or less every other European race can only really take place either in late-spring, summer, or early-autumn, so the climate doesn’t really give that much flexibility in choosing the ideal time of year for the race temperature-wise.

    2. It’s not the tracks fault, we’ve seen racing at Monaco before. Cars get close and there are a few opportunities normally, which is where the safety cars come from… There was none of this, same as Melbourne, same as Catalunya… Almost all the close racing we’ve seen this year has been thanks to DRS straights.

      The cars switch off aerodynamically as soon as they get within a second of someone. Let’s fix that before we go messing with the calendar, especially tracks as special as Monaco.

      1. It’s not Monaco, not entirely it’s the combination of turbulence on the front wing causing a lack of grip and that lack of grip destroying the artificially crap tyres.

  2. The drivers aren’t enjoying.. the viewers are dozing off the snoozefests, teams are facing losses..
    Sometimes I wonder why and how is F1 still running.

    Answer: Perhaps there is still hope in the mind of the fans.. but is there? Until when will this inefficient business model keep functioning? Until when can the still profiting stakeholders harvest the remaining hope of the viewers? There must be a breaking point..

  3. The fans and now even the drivers are all complaining that the racing is boring at Monaco.

    The best part of the weekend for a driver is qualifying where they’re pushing the car to its absolute limits, trying to thread the eye of a needle. I believe, from a fans perspective, qualifying is the best part of Monaco too. That onboard of Riccardo’s pole lap was like watching something in fast forward. It was fantastic. Interviews with both Sainz and Alonso afterwards highlighted how much they had to concentrate on their qualifying laps.

    So, if they must keep Monaco, why not just treat it as a time trial event? Have a qualifying session on both Saturday and Sunday – roughly half points awarded in each case. Don’t bother with a race.

    That way, Monaco gets to keep the F1 circus coming back and F1 gets to keep the glamour aspect that Monaco brings. The drivers get to really push themselves and the fans can enjoy watching 20 cars going hell for leather, twice.

  4. Bottas had the better tires to push harder at the end, and couldn’t.

    Monaco is a special case and the tire suppliers really need to factor in the circuit when they supply tires.

    Actually im surpise there was no ‘post race’ scrutiny of tires on the top three cars in the paddock. Missed oppertunity. Channel 4, etc, could have shown close ups of the tires with an relative analysis of their conditions.

    Vettel says the reason he wasn’t pushing was because he was saving his tires, like wise Hamilton.
    Im surprise with Hamiltion pitting as early as lap 12, that he wasn’t also given the harder compound.

    1. It’s not tyres. Bottas was lapping 2 seconds faster than the leaders. There’s no doubt at all Vettel could have lapped seconds quicker than Ricciardo in clear air. As soon as one car got close to another car the car stopped working because of the dirty air and downforce is very important around monaco.

      The reason they were saving tyres is because there was no point to pit for a second and lose track position, because then they wouldn’t be able to pass Bottas anyway.

    2. Sky did exactly this. Anthony Davidson did a side by side comparison of the top 5 showing the relative graining on their tyres and how it was affecting them throughout the race.

  5. Well, the top 5 really didn’t even bother trying to overtake.

  6. it was a boring race, with only a few moments of anything, I think Pirelli made a mistake with the hyper soft , yes the drivers before the race all thought it was a good idea, but the race showed otherwise, so maybe we need the tyre supplier to provide 2 tyres each that will last the distance and the FIA/Liberty to then give an allocated pitstop window like many motorsport series do, would this have changed anything I don’t know but just maybe something need to change

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