Toto Wolff has revealed that a late misfire on Valtteri Bottas’ Formula 1 engine gave Mercedes “a bit of a headache” during the closing stages of the French Grand Prix.

Bottas trailed teammate Lewis Hamilton by nearly 20 seconds as he fended off a late attack from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to claim second place at Paul Ricard.

The Finn had already dropped some time after being caught out by a short Virtual Safety Car period, before a late power unit gremlin cropped up with only a handful of laps remaining, enabling Leclerc to close in.

“We had a little misfire on Valtteri’s engine that caused a little bit of a headache,” Wolff explained.

“It set in pretty late. I think it was probably six or seven laps to the end. We tried to manage it, which was successful and was under control then.”

Despite what looked on paper to be a comfortable Mercedes one-two, the team had to manage a number of issues on both cars throughout the race, including a seat problem for Hamilton and tyre graining.

“Often when you look at it from a TV perspective, it doesn’t really tell all the little dramas that happen behind,” Wolff said.

“We need to see what happened on the seat, but we were trying to manage the car in the right way to avoid all the troubles and at a certain stage we had some very shallow blistering on the tyres - which wasn’t a worry, but it was very interesting to see.

“But overall I’m really happy with the team’s performance this weekend, I think it was probably our strongest showing so far this season.”

 

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