Set-up rather than wheelbase is W08's problem - Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas says that the delicate balance of the Mercedes W08 is linked to set-up factors rather that the cars specific long wheelbase.

This year's Silver Arrows has the longest wheelbase in the field, a feature which many suggested was at the root of the German outfit's inconsistent performance this season and its difficulties in keeping its tyres in the optimal temperature window.

But a thorough investigation after the team's lackluster performance in Monaco revealed that wheelbase specifications played only a minor role in the car's issues. 

"I think the long wheelbase of the car had probably a minimal effect," he told

"The team has done simulations and calculations and it [the wheelbase] was only a small problem -much more it was a set-up issue.

"We learned about our issues and probably just struggled to get the car well set-up for the track. And also it is a type of track where the Ferrari car is better.

"They seemed to find a much better balance than us in Monaco and, as a driver, if you find a good balance and do a lot of laps with confidence, it can make a big difference." 

Rule changes featuring wider tyres and heavier suspension loads prompted Mercedes' design team to opt for a longer wheelbase car, which they feel offers a better advantage overall.

Bottas has no doubts that when the W08's balance is optimized, it is indeed the fastest car in the field. 

"I think it is sensitive in general mechanically and aero wise as well," he said.

"Everything is done in such fine detail that if you get it right, it is the fastest car on the grid. If not it is more tricky."

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