It has been no flying start to the second half of the season for Valtteri Bottas, whose torrid time was topped off by his 5th place at the Malaysian GP, nearly 40 seconds off that of his team mate.
It has been no secret that the team have struggled to find the right balance in their Mercedes W08 against their rivals in recent race weekends. However, where Hamilton has still achieved considerable success, Bottas appears to be struggling to keep the pace of the other front runners. Valtteri has since admitted that this may be the hardest time he has had in his Formula One career
“Being honest, it may be the most difficult time of my career so far, in terms of how it feels every time I go in the car. I just want to perform. I want to be in a good level and I haven’t been doing that for some time for various reasons. There are many question marks still for me, for the team. So I definitely want to turn it around quickly”
Bottas has commented that there is not one single issue that can be pinpointed. The car is suffering an ever growing accumulation of problems, brought on by the struggles to maintain good balance in tyre temperatures
“That has been the main issue. And for me in the race, if I tried to go quicker, I just slide more, and struggle more with the tyre temps. So it is all about just trying to manage and keep the temps under control in the race, and it is definitely not nice,” he remarked.
Bottas enjoyed a remarkable start to his first season with the Silver Arrows, achieving multiple pole positions and race victories, often out-pacing his team mate Hamilton. However, it was at the Monaco GP where the problems first reared their head, but Bottas believes the situation may have since worsened,
“All the next races they are going to be really important. Still for us as a team nothing has been won yet, so hopefully we can understand within a week or two – because otherwise it could be too late.”
The extent of the Mercedes attempts to rectify these issues will become apparent at the Japanese GP, due to take place this coming weekend on October 8th.
Written by Lewis Glynn
Featured Image taken from SkySports.com