Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2019

Bottas “surprised” Hamilton beat his fastest lap on hard tyres

2019 British Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas admitted he was surprised his team mate was able to beat the fastest lap time he set on softs using an old set of hard tyres.

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race while running on a 32-lap-old set of hard tyres. Bottas, who switched to soft tyres with seven laps to go, missed out on the fastest lap of the race by three hundredths of a second.

“I tried pretty hard but I didn’t have really full battery level at the moment,” he explained. “Even though with the mode I was running the lap before it should have been.

“It’s something we actually raised up in the meeting that can be a lot better in the races [so] we really have some margin to go for the fastest lap to charge the pack more to really deploy more. I feel I lost a bit there. Also carried a bit more fuel.”

Bottas set his fastest lap of the race with five laps to go, only for Hamilton to beat it on the final lap. He admitted he made a small mistake at the end of the lap which could have cost him the bonus.

“I was surprised that with the hard tyre at the end he could do a lap like that,” said Bottas. “Obviously the hard tyre was very solid. It was not much I had: A bit of a lock-up into the last couple of corners so lost maybe a tenth there.”

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37 comments on “Bottas “surprised” Hamilton beat his fastest lap on hard tyres”

  1. Valtteri Bottas admitted he was surprised his team mate was able to beat the fastest lap time he set on softs using an old set of hard tyres.

    Um I don’t think many others are.

    1. Really? I would have thought a lot of people including strategists, engineers, Mercedes, Pirelli, etc would have been totally surprised.

    2. A set of hard tires (+1.4 seconds, according to Pirelli), having already done 30+ laps, putting in the fastest lap of the race?

      I don’t think anyone would believe it. I certainly didn’t believe it when I was watching it happen.

      1. @riptide , grat No they would not have been surprised as Hamilton was a second quicker than Bottass in the long runs during testing. Also as pointed out below Bottas was on used softs and the track was kinder to hards. The 1.4 second difference is a guestimate, variations of set up, driver style, track temp all make a difference. Lastly Hamiltion is 5 times WDC for a reason Bottas is not in the same league.

  2. Supreme from Lewis and that FLAP was a dominant rubber stamp to the lEwIS oNly wOn bECauSe oF tHe sAfetY cAr oH anD hE doEsnT paY tAxEs brigade.

  3. I was shocked, when I looked up and saw fastest lap had went from BOT to Lewis. Hell of an accomplishment on old hard tires.

  4. To put into context, can above posters link to data, age of tires for other drivers setting their PBs from lap 47 to 50

    1. @bigjoe It’s on the FIA website. Why on earth would you need that though? Hamilton was faster on worn hard tyres than Bottas on newish softs. Period.

      1. @f1osaurus
        One poster above thinks that non Mercedes people were surprised. yet the track got quicker for other drivers on worn hards. All this proves is Bottas as an average driver, was done.

        1. @bigjoe Do you actually have a point somewhere? You want to pretend an that the hard tyre was suddenly faster than the soft tyres?

    2. Did notice Sainz and Ricciardo went green in that period.

  5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th July 2019, 14:39

    Bottas will never get over this. The only way to get over it is for him to do a fastest lap on the hardest compound after 30+ laps while Lewis is driving new soft tyres.

    The fact that Lewis did it on the last lap while risking the victory makes it even more impressive and hard to believe for Bottas.

    It resembled a magic trick and it was a gift from Lewis to the home crowd and his team! If that does not leave you in awe, nothing probably does.

    1. Beautifully written.

    2. Cracking lap from Lewis.
      To be fair to Bottas, it was old softs that he switched onto. The best they had to offer was taken from them during qualifying.

    3. He lost to one of the best F1 drivers ever on his home ground with a record crowd cheering for him on the verge of a historic record win (and thus extremely motivated).

      No shame against losing to that.

  6. In the post-race cool down room, Valtteri seemed shrunken in a corner and not engaging with Charles and Lewis – particularly when the latter two reacted to the screening of the Vettel/Verstappen ‘incident’; Valtteri seemed to long to be elsewhere.

  7. Or maybe Bottas was deflated because he is a team player and was told to make one flying lap then back off. He probably was told that he would get the fastest lap and then Ham disobeyed the team and went for it on the last lap. Bottas had no chance to respond. With new softs, I think Bottas could have easily gotten another half second.

    Since it has been rumored that Bottas is out at the end of the season, I would like to see him race for himself instead of the team like Ham.

    1. You are absolutely right Eric. Thats exactly what happened. I was told by one the Mercedes mechanics I met in a pub. He said Lewis also growled at a child.
      But if Bottas had time in hand on his fast lap, why would he go half a second slower than he needed to when anyone in the top ten could have also gone for it? Of course with time n hand Hamilton could have called in for softs on lap 50 and easily nailed fastest lap. I’m sure he did it on the 32 lap hards just to show off.

    2. Anon A. Mouse
      15th July 2019, 23:08

      Hamilton asked what the fast lap time was and his engineer told him it was Bottas with a 27.4. He asked if he could go for fast lap and permission was given. On the penultimate lap he asked what mode he was allowed to use for the last lap and they gave him Strat 5 towards the end of sector 2, which I believe is the same as Bottas got.

    3. Sigh. Lewis had to ask for permission to go for the fastest lap. He asked the team and the team let him they then told him to change his engine settings.

  8. Look at the lap times. Bottas made one flying lap after the pit stop and backed off. Mercedes has told the drivers in the past not to go for fastest lap at the end of a race. If Bottas wasn’t told he would get fastest lap, then why bother to pit him? And before you say to be safe, all I have ever heard in F1 is that teams will do about anything to avoid making a pit stop.

    1. @Ericglo,
      It’s better to be silent and be thought a Fool than speak and remove all doubt!

    2. He had to put for tyres as he had used medium and medium, he need to go to another tyre type or be disqualified

    3. They had to pit him anyway, mandatory two compound rule and he was used only mediums at that time.

    4. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      15th July 2019, 19:46

      This is what I think. But he did have to pit because they must run 2 different compounds. But as you say, Bottas did very soon go fastest. Then he kept his distance to Hamilton and looked like he wasn’t trying any more. He was quicker than Leclerc and all others behind him and had no chance to catch Hamilton. And given Hamilton was on old hards, Bottas will have not expected Hamilton to get fastest lap. I think Hamilton was smart here and purposely did it on the last lap so Bottas had no time to defend. Had Hamilton done that a few laps sooner, I think Bottas would have certainly responded. I think Bottas will have just backed off as there was no need to push hard or take any risks. But Hamilton will have surprised him with that.

      1. When you consider that Bottas beat Hamilton to pole by 41cms that obviously really stung Hamilton and this FL that Hamilton did was just his way of settling the score!

  9. I don’t want to take anything away from Lewis here, but you can only go as fast as the tire will allow you to. Qualifying showed that both Valtteri and Lewis are pretty close over a single lap. The bigger achievement here wasn’t the lap itself but the way Lewis was able to preserve his tires. Putting it all together on the last lap of a race is pretty epic though.

    1. @d0senbrot Qualifying showed that Bottas set his car up for a Q3 lap and not for the race at all. While Hamilton went the other way and used a setup that gave him the best long run pace. With that Bottas “won” on Saturday and Hamilton won on Sunday.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        15th July 2019, 19:52

        Where do you get this information that Bottas has this “setup” for qualifying and not the race…… ? Any evidence? I haven’t seen this anywhere other than many of your own comments. I will accept this if you provide evidence.

        I don’t believe this though. I think Bottas is a very strong qualifier. Given Hamilton known for being excellent in qualifying, I think Bottas is doing an incredible job in this aspect this year. Due to Hamilton’s mistake in qualifying the previous race that got him a penalty, Bottas has started ahead of him as many times as Hamilton has.

        I don’t think it is Bottas’s car setup that shows his weak race pace. I don’t think he was poor at all this race. Hamilton was obviously faster but I wouldn’t say he was significantly. If he had a significent pace advantage, I don’t think he will have been able to complete an overtake, then get overtaken by Bottas right after then still be stuck behind for another 12 laps.

        1. How about the fact that Bottas was much slower on heavier fuel and harder tires?

          Do you remember Spain, where Bottas was on pole by a county mile, only to be nowhere in race conditions? He clearly sets his car up for low fuel, soft tire runs just like Rosberg did the year that he won the most poles and was always so much slower on race day.

          It doesn’t take a genius to observe these trends.

  10. @thegianthogweed

    Well we are not going to get very clear information as teams and drivers dont disclose all of their secrets and plans. But this is the closest we will get that Lewis was more focused on race setup than qualifying.

    Post qualifying:
    “The set-up suited the race trim best,” Hamilton said. “I think yesterday I really did struggle with it on a single lap and tried to improve it throughout the evening and into today.
    “It was also windy but the race trim was still good and I didn’t want to move the set-up I had too far away”

    So both Mercedes drivers can still improve, Lewis to get the W10 diva to his liking on Saturdays (very unusual for the all time pole record holder to be struggling in qualifying) and Bottas to improve his race pace.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      15th July 2019, 21:24

      That is a fair view on Hamilton, but before I can believe it was a different situation for Bottas, we would need to see some information about his set up too.

  11. How can people be Shoked that toto orders the engine team to give all the power HAM needs to beat BOT ? Are you really this naive?

    1. Totally agree with you.

      I have also heard that Toto has actually devised a way, using telemetric teleportation, to transfer power from BOT engine to HAM’s engine during a race!

  12. 1, Bottas should go faster to reach fastest lap, this is so simple.
    2, It was a good battle between BOT and HAM after the start of the race.
    3, Mercedes was much (with about 0,5-1s/lap) faster than RB and Ferrari in every (soft, medium, hard) tyre.
    4, It was an epic battle between Leclerc and Verstappen for many laps. VER was faster than LEC but VER couldn’t really overtake LEC. RB was faster and better strategy than Ferrari.
    5, Gasly overtaked Vettel (!) and it was a nice move.
    6, Giovinazzi’s mistake and SC was a pity because it ended the LEC-VER battle. (Lec tried to overtake VER 1 time but no more action) Gio’s mistake and SC was a game changer (HAM and VET was lucky, others unlucky in top 6)
    7, Leclecr overtakes on Gasly was great.
    8, VET got a chance to reach 2nd place but he was slow and hitted VER.
    It was a good race 9/10 and Silverstone is a good race track.

  13. There’s too much speculating here. Can’t you guys live with the facts? BTW, there’s an interesting article in the August issue of Road & Track that might explain what’s going on with Vettel. It’s not about him but about losing focus in general. It’s by Ross Bentley and it’s titled Ebb and Flow: Finding the Magic Behind the Wheel.

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