Former Formula 1 champion Mika Hakkinen is the latest to offer his take on the Mercedes pit stop that saw Valtteri Bottas retire from the Monaco Grand Prix.
Bottas, who at the time was running second, came in for what should have been a routine pit stop on Lap 29 of the race. Unfortunately for the Mercedes driver, a wheel nut got lodged to the front right of his car locking the entire wheel in position forcing him to retire from the race, which resulted in Red Bull and Max Verstappen now leading both championships.
"What happened to Valtteri [Bottas] in the pit stop was almost unbelievable," Hakkinen said on his column for Unibet.
"To have a wheel stuck on the car, and the mechanics unable to drill the wheel nut off is something so unusual. I have experienced lots of disappointments in Formula One, including my car breaking down while leading on the final lap of the race, so I know how Valtteri must be feeling.
"You really cannot believe that something like this has stopped you from scoring a good result. Almost certainly Valtteri would have finished second.
"It’s a result which has damaged Valtteri’s World Championship, and also hurt Mercedes who are now one point behind Red Bull Racing in the World Championship for Constructors."
Mercedes now must regroup in time for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Given the unique nature of the Monaco street circuit, one would expect the German behemoths to bounce back strongly.