Valtteri Bottas finishes third with Lewis Hamilton in fifth in the heat of Austria. Valtteri came home in P3 to score his third podium at the Austrian GP in his 50th race for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. Lewis crossed the line in P5. Lewis (197 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 31 points from Valtteri (166 points). Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (363 points) lead Ferrari (228 points) by 135 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
I think we made the most of it today. We expected this race to be tricky, but it turned out to be even more difficult than we predicted. We had to do lots of lifting and coasting and couldn’t use all engines modes to keep the engine from overheating. So, we couldn’t really race properly, and I had to manage temperatures for the majority of the race. It made both defending and attacking very difficult. But you have to look at the positives – I got some good points out of this weekend and I don’t think there was much difference in terms of race pace. So, it isn’t all bad. We’ll investigate and hopefully come back stronger at Silverstone.
It wasn’t the easiest day, we knew already before the race started that we might be in trouble here. Overheating proved to be a fairly big issue for us today. I think we had good pace, the car felt good, but we just couldn’t race due to the overheating. It seemed to be a limitation of our car this weekend and the other cars didn’t seem to struggle quite as much as we did, so we’ll have to look into this and try to fix it. There’s going to be more hot races coming up like Budapest, so we’ll need to get on top of this, otherwise it could be a difficult few races for us. I also damaged my front wing on the kerb, so we had to change it, which cost us a bit of time as well. It’s just one of those bad days in the office, but at least I still got some good points with fifth place.
From a fan’s perspective, this was a really exciting race to watch; however, from our team’s perspective it was a difficult day. We said before the race that the high temperatures will be a huge challenge for us and that turned out to be true. Our Achilles heel was exposed, with both drivers struggling with overheating in these incredibly warm temperatures. We had to open up the bodywork all the way, turn down the engine and had to do lifting and coasting for long stretches. So, we couldn’t really race with our car today, neither attack nor defend, we were just trying to keep it alive and cooling it properly. On a more positive note, though, we still scored a good haul of points and managed to put in some decent lap times despite these limitations. However, it’s clear that we have to fix our cooling problems for the coming hot European races. As we say, the bad days are the ones when we learn the most to come back stronger. And we’ll be looking to do just that at the next race at Silverstone.
Source: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport