Valtteri Bottas says the pit stop error that led to his retirement from second place in the Monaco Grand Prix “should not happen” at Mercedes.
The Finn was running second as a result of Charles Leclerc’s failure to start in Monaco, chasing Max Verstappen and keeping Carlos Sainz at bay. With overtaking so difficult on the street circuit, Bottas looked set to pick up strong points but then Mercedes could not remove his right-front wheel when the nut machined onto the axle.
“I don’t know what happened in the pit stop, to be honest, I don’t know yet if it was human error or a technical issue,” Bottas said. “But, in any case, we need to learn from it. It’s a big mistake by us and it should not happen.
“I think otherwise we could have fought for the win. Red Bull and Max, they were really quick, so it would have been difficult but at least we could have gotten a second place today with good points, but we lost them.”
Bottas can’t believe his bad luck after seeing a race that was looking like a chance to close the gap on teammate Lewis Hamilton — who was down in sixth — ended by a pit stop issue.
“Not really, no. I couldn’t believe what was happening… but it happened. It was a big mistake by us, as a team, lo learn from.
“If it’s a human error, we need to support the guy who did it, but we need to learn from that — that’s the main thing in my mind. And, at the same time, I’m super-disappointed.
“I was kind of counting and thinking, ‘Now we’ve lost a place to Sainz, then probably to Norris’ and then it was just getting so long that I couldn’t believe it. I think I never had an issue that my race ends in the pit stop, so it’s a really strange feeling.”