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Valtteri Bottas

Bottas eyes escape from ruinous Stake F1 problem

Stake F1's recurring problems could be about to end.

Bottas Japan FP3
To news overview © XPBimages

Valtteri Bottas is optimistic that Stake can deliver a fix to its problematic wheel-nut issues at the forthcoming Chinese Grand Prix.

The team has been plagued by a series of slow pit-stops in the opening four rounds of the season after an issue with the wheel-nuts becoming cross-threaded and leading to lengthy stops for Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.

It is not as simple as returning to the 2023 equipment for the team with the pullrod front suspension meaning the old hardware cannot be used on the current machine, as a fix is sought for the Hinwil-based outfit.

The nadir was a 52.4s stop in Bahrain for Bottas, but the Finn is encouraged by the steps being taken by the team to rectify the issue.

"There has been progress and modifications made to the procedures and some of the materials," Bottas told media including RacingNews365 before the Japanese Grand Prix.

"Some measurements have been taken, but it is still not 100% fixed, unfortunately, but the chance of an issue should be lower."

A long-standing issue

The team was not able to react to the issue until it was first detected in testing, but after four races, Bottas feels a turn could be on offer in F1's return to Shanghai.

"It is an issue that was kind of there, we didn't know before the season that it would be an issue, and it is not a quick fix," he said.

"But there is 100% a fix planned, hopefully for China, but it is still not 100%.

"Even before the Bahrain test, it was not a big concern, but in the test, we started to see some issues.

Bottas was on course for a points finish in Australia, before a slow stop ruined his chances as he came home in 14th place on a strong weekend for the 10-time grand prix winner, but he defended the team.

"We are in this together, and I was disappointed, the whole team was disappointed," he added.

"These things shouldn't happen, but we are taking it seriously and it is a priority to get it sorted."

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