Valtteri Bottas’ Sunday did not go as planned after he was forced to retire from the German Grand Prix due to power issues, despite having a new power unit for the weekend.
Bottas started the race in pole position after beating his teammate, Lewis Hamilton’s quickest effort in qualifying on Saturday.
The beginning of the race went well for Bottas, coming back from being challenged by Hamilton at the first corner with a bold move in turn two. Bottas managed to pull away afterwards, leading the race for some time before a big lock-up at Turn one allowed Hamilton to cruise past.
Having flat-spotted his tyre, Bottas was forced to pit early on lap 13 and then tried to catch back up to Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the front.
Things went from bad to worse when on lap 18, Bottas reported a loss of power over the radio. He subsequently headed into the pits and was retired from the race.
After the race he spoke about what happened: “It’s a frustrating way to finish a race, it was really good fun until I started to lose power during the Virtual Safety Car.
“The start and the battle with Lewis through the first couple of corners was nice, there was no way I was going to make it easy for him. Obviously, later on I had a lock-up into Turn 1 and lost the position, which meant I stopped early.
“The new tyres were starting to feel pretty good and I was hopeful I could have potentially undercut. Everything was still to play for.
“But then it was quite a big loss of power – something wrong with the Power Unit. We’ll have to investigate what that is, but it was really unlucky. I went around for a couple of laps to see if it recovered but there was nothing else we could do.”
Bottas is now 69 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ championship on 161 and is only 14 ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
After the positivity he had from his win in Russia, this weekend was not what he was hoping for and it now looks as though the momentum he hoped to build-up has been lost.