Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff has stated that he understands the frustrations of Valtteri Bottas after implementing a pit strategy that kept him out longer than Lewis Hamilton.
While Hamilton went on to win the Bahrain Grand Prix, Bottas found himself in the all-to-familiar position of finishing third behind both his teammate and Max Verstappen. While the British driver was able to execute the undercut on the lead Red Bull driver to perfection, the German outfit kept Bottas out for a longer stint on two occasions, which ultimately cost the Finn valuable time on the circuit.
"I totally understand the frustration in the car when you have limited information and say ‘I think we could have done something else,’" Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.
"I think there wasn’t any strategy on the table, because we tried to undercut also with Valtteri that I think would change race for him or make his race not..
"The outcome we wouldn’t wish for was that he lost a position at the start of the race and he kind of couldn’t recover the gap to the two guys in front.
"The pitstop was there to undercut Max, and I think we would probably have been successful, but we had a problem with the right front wheel gun.
"And then I don’t know what other strategy we could have run. The one stop was clearly not possible. The Medium wouldn’t have made it to the end, the Hard in the middle stage was running out of performance. There was no other option available."
Bottas did however, manage to secure a crucial point towards the end of the Grand Prix setting the fastest lap of the race after making a quick pitstop with just a few laps to go. The point could prove valuable to Mercedes in the constructor's championship as the fight with Red Bull could very well go down to the wire.