Mercedes explains Bottas pit stop error at F1 Bahrain GP

Mercedes said Valtteri Bottas’ nearly 11-second pit stop at the Bahrain Grand Prix was the result of human error by a mechanic who removed a tire pistol too early.

The team’s technical director, James Allison described the problematic pit stop: “When the car entered the pit stop pit, Valtteri entered very well, positioned the car correctly, but unfortunately, one of the mechanics with the pistol started to disengage the nut, loosened the nut, but then started to remove the pistol from the wheel just before the nut came loose. ”

Removing the wheel pistol too early causes damage that makes it more difficult to repeat the action to completely loosen the nut, explained Allison. “Because I was still offering some resistance at that point, when he removed the pistol, the socket of the wheel pistol started to come loose from the nut and then started to turn. We call this machining the nut because it starts chipping at the edges of the nut and destroying it, a little bit like when you’re using a screwdriver and it’s not aligned properly, and you start to cause damage. ”

Allison said the problem was further exacerbated by the pistol automatically reversing the direction in order to secure the new wheel.

The feature, which was designed to make pit stops as quickly as possible, cost Mercedes and Bottas even more precious time. The poor pit stop left Bottas substantially far from the race leaders, and within an almost risky margin for Lando Norris in fourth place. Although he was able to increase the distance behind him, enough to be able to make another pit stop in the final minutes of the race and get the fastest lap, but without challenging or threatening his teammate Lewis Hamilton in the lead.

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