Valtteri Bottas says a one-stop strategy during the British Grand Prix was “out of the question” and admits Mercedes made an error.

The Finn, who brilliantly held off teammate Lewis Hamilton’s early attacks, was committed to a two-stop strategy after taking on a new set of Mediums at his first pit stop on Lap 16, while Hamilton stayed out longer and took advantage of a fortunately-timed Safety Car period to snatch the lead.

Bottas found himself immediately behind Hamilton on track but needing to stop again to change compounds, which he did so by switching to Softs on Lap 45, dropping him out of contention for victory.

“It wasn’t really my luckiest day, but that’s life,” Bottas said.

“We had a really good race in the beginning, I really enjoyed it, that’s what we’re here for, to race hard and fair.

“For sure Toto [Wolff] didn’t enjoy it as much as we did, but who cares? After my first stop I felt I had the race under control.

“I was actually cutting the gap to him but not pushing hard, just waiting for him to stop. But then the Safety Car came out and turned things around at that point.

“After that I was kind of stuck on a two-stops strategy, at that stage, because we had stopped from the Medium tyre to another set of Medium tyre, so that meant I would have to stop in the end, which was a mistake from our side.

“A two-stops, was, for us, by far the fastest strategy but, actually, one stop turned out to be quick as well,” he added.

“There was definitely an idea to split the cars, one of us was going to put Hards for the second stint, but still the plan was to do Medium-Medium-Hard or Medium-Hard-Soft.

“One stop was out of the question today and that was a mistake from our side. It was by far the fastest strategy today for our car, the Medium-Hard. We thought it would be much slower, so that’s for sure a learning point for us.”

Despite falling 39 points behind his teammate in the championship, Bottas says he still has plenty of positives to take from the weekend and insists the fight with Hamilton is “not over yet”.

“There are lots of positives to take and also very, very happy for us as a team, we got maximum points and it’s pretty impressive for the teams behind now,” he explained.

“That makes me really proud of us. In any case I’m still super hungry for the wins so I’m looking forward for the next one in two weeks.

“Yesterday I was the quickest on the track, that was good. I think the race pace today was good too. It was a good fight and I’ll keep fighting, it’s not over yet.”



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