Toto Wolff, the principal of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, has claimed his Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas was partly to blame for his retirement at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Bottas, who was running second, came into the pits for a routine stop on lap 29 but was forced to retire after a wheel nut lodged itself into the front right of his car. Given that the tyre was unable to come off the W12, the team had no option but to retire the Finn. Wolff though thinks Bottas' angle of approach was partly to blame for the ensuing fiasco.
"Valtteri stopped a little too early," Wolff told Auto Motor und Sport.
"This meant that the mechanic had to apply the impact wrench at an angle. The awkward angle damaged the wheel nut and we couldn't bring it down."
The incident represented a massive blow to Mercedes as the German giants now find themselves trailing Red Bull in the Constructor's championship by a single point.
The Monaco Grand Prix weekend, on the whole, was something of a disaster for the seven-time champions, with lead driver Lewis Hamilton only managing a seventh-place finish, meaning he too trails Max Verstappen in the Drivers' championship by four points.