Bottas feels tyre strategy cost podium shot
27 July 2014 – Williams driver Valtteri Bottas reckons he could have been in the podium fight in Hungary if he had chosen a better tyre strategy.
Bottas had already lost out during the first Safety Car period when, along with Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, he was unable to pit at the first opportunity due to the timing of its deployment.
But the Finn's problems were compounded in the second pit-stop phase, when he and team-mate Felipe Massa switched to the Medium tyre.
With the majority of rivals continuing on the Soft compound for the final stint, Bottas slipped to eighth position, while Massa salvaged fifth.
"It would have been better to go with the Option but, from all the data we got from Friday, there was not a big difference with the tyres, and we thought we could run a bit longer with the Medium," explained Bottas.
"With the cooler temperatures and the tyre pressures that we had, it just didn't work like I had expected. On the final stint with Options, it was a different feeling and the tyre was actually working. But by then it was too late.
"I was, at one point, thinking we could go to the end of the race [on Mediums] because the tyre just wasn't working and, for the first 10 laps, it was like new. Then it started to get better and better, but the tyre wear just got more and more and there was quite a lot of degradation for the last few laps, so we had to stop."
Discussing what could have been possible on a smoother afternoon, Bottas did not rule out a top three result.
"If we had got everything perfect, we could have been close, but things maybe didn't come to our side," he said.
"It's a race we need to learn from, but we knew that this was [a difficult track] for us and we still got points."
He added: "I think the rest of the season should be nice. We'll have some more good times ahead and, if we keep improving, we'll be alright. Spa and Monza should be good places for us to get really good points."