Bottas hoping for Chinese GP fix to Sauber pitstop woes


Valtteri Bottas believes that Sauber is close to solving its chronic wheel-nut issues that have plagued too many of the team’s pitstops this season, thanks to the Swiss outfit’s proactive measures.

Both Bottas and teammate Zhou Guanyu have been on the receiving of Sauber’s complications, but the Finn has borne the brunt of the issue with a catastrophic 52-second pitstop in Bahrain and then when a wheelnut went astray in Melbourne and cost him a 30-second stop.

Sauber has been hard at work revising its components and processes to solve its issue.

Unfortunately, a simple rollback to its 2023 equipment isn't an option. The team's switch to a pullrod front suspension this year has rendered its old set-up incompatible, which adds another layer of complexity to their search for a solution.

Bottas nevertheless remains cautiously hopeful, citing the team’s recent progress and acknowledging its efforts to rectify the problem before the Chinese Grand Prix.

With crucial points at stake, Sauber desperately needs a fix to ensure smooth pitstops and unleash the true potential of its C44 charger.

"There has been progress and modifications made to the procedures and some of the materials," Bottas told the media last weekend in Japan.

"Some measurements have been taken, but it is still not 100% fixed, unfortunately, but the chance of an issue should be lower."


Bottas suggested that Sauber was caught off guard by the problem which first manifested itself in pre-season testing.

"It is an issue that was kind of there, we didn't know before the season that it would be an issue, and it is not a quick fix," he added.

"But there is 100% a fix planned, hopefully for China, but it is still not 100%.

"Even before the Bahrain test, it was not a big concern, but in the test, we started to see some issues.

"We are in this together, and I was disappointed, the whole team was disappointed. These things shouldn't happen, but we are taking it seriously and it is a priority to get it sorted."

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter