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Valtteri Bottas was "used as a pawn": Jenson Button

Valtteri Bottas didn
Valtteri Bottas didn't have a great weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Photo: Andy Hone/Getty Images.
ANALYST
Modified 29 Mar 2021
News

Valtteri Bottas was unhappy with the events that took place at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Finn felt that Mercedes had a defensive strategy in place for him and that he would have to review his race with the team.

Jenson Button, however, felt otherwise. The former world champion blamed Valtteri's performance for the Finn's lackluster race.

Speaking about Valtteri's Bahrain Grand Prix, Jenson Button said:

"I think his pace compared to Lewis was a little bit off. That always hurts when you see your team-mate pulling off into the distance. And he was also used as a little bit of a pawn during the race so Max would follow his lead during pit stops."

Speaking about how the race could affect Bottas' confidence, Jenson Button said:

“It’s not been an easy race for him and I don’t think it fills him full of confidence for race two. That was the first time he’s looked unhappy with the way things have gone for the team.”

Valtteri Bottas has put pressure on the team: Paul di Resta

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Valtteri Bottas was critical of Mercedes' strategic approach to the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Finn said:

"From my side, the strategy was too much on the defensive side instead of attacking, which I was quite surprised of.”

Bottas explained the areas in which the strategy could have been better:

“We will review everything, but I feel we were more passive than aggressive with the strategy in the end. I wanted to stay out longer in the middle stint on fresher tires but it wouldn’t have made much difference in the end.”

Sky Sports commentator Paul di Resta felt that Valtteri's public criticism of Mercedes' approach should put pressure on the team to give the Finn a more optimal strategy for the next race.

"Bottas was very vocal about the strategy, that’s going to put pressure on the team.”

Regardless, Valtteri Bottas had another listless outing. The Finn wasn't a factor in qualifying or the race. For a driver on a one-year extension, Valtteri Bottas needs to find a new level of performance to keep his seat at Mercedes.

Published 29 Mar 2021, 16:19 IST
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