F1: Mercedes still unable to remove wheel from Bottas’ car · RaceFans


The broken wheel nut which compelled Valtteri Bottas to retire from the Monaco Grand Prix continues to be caught to his automobile, Mercedes has revealed.

Bottas retired within the pits when Mercedes have been unable to take away the front-right wheel from his automobile when he got here in for his pit cease on lap 29.

The crew’s technical director James Allison mentioned it gained’t be doable to take away the nut, and the wheel with it, till the automobile returns to the crew’s base.

“We didn’t get the wheel off,” Allison admitted. “It’s sat in our storage with the wheel stand on it.

“It’ll should be floor off. Get a Dremel out and painfully slice by the remnants of the wheel nut. We’ll do that again on the manufacturing unit.”

The driving force mentioned he was “massively disenchanted” to finish his race within the pits having run second within the early phases, and urged the crew to unravel its newest pit cease setback.

Bottas described his disbelief as he sat within the pits and realised his race was over.

“I used to be principally identical to ‘yeah, it was a gradual pit cease’. After which I used to be type of calculating ‘okay, that’s most likely Sainz getting previous’, after which it was going to be Norris or whoever was behind.

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“Then when it got here down to love 30 seconds or one thing, I couldn’t imagine it. Clearly massively disappointing and a state of affairs that we have to guarantee that by no means occurs once more – it’s an enormous mistake.”

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“I feel it’s dangerous luck from my aspect,” mentioned Bottas. “It’s one thing that as a crew goes to be an enormous precedence going into the following race.”

Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff admitted he’d by no means beforehand seen something just like the wheel nut failure earlier than. He defined their pit cease went awry when the mechanic’s wheel gun stripped the enamel from the nut.

“Valtteri mentioned that he noticed the aluminium bits flying off in entrance,” he defined.

“It’s been our weak point this 12 months however we haven’t modified any of the wheel nut designs or the weapons so we actually must get on prime of what’s inflicting that and are available again stronger.”

The precise reason for the failure stays unclear, mentioned Wolff. “We have to look into whether or not it’s a design challenge or whether or not we simply had a catastrophic failure of some methods.

“We simply machined the entire nut off. By no means seen something like this. There was no half there any extra and the tyre was nonetheless on the automobile.”

Wolff admitted it was “very, very irritating” for Bottas, who has suffered misfortunes within the pits throughout earlier races. “It looks like he’s cursed.”

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