Valtteri Bottas says “there was definitely something wrong” with Williams’ tyre strategy at last Sunday’s German Grand Prix, as he lost a couple of positions in the final laps.
While all front runners went for a three-stop strategy at Hockenheim, Williams tried to make Bottas’ race a two-stopper with a mammoth 32-lap stint on the soft tyre in the end.
Having ran in seventh place for most of the afternoon, the Finn was overhauled by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren-Honda’s Jenson Button in the closing stages, and just managed to hang on to ninth at the flag.
“The race was going OK until Force India managed to get in front of us with the undercut,” Bottas said. “They did a three-stop and we tried a two-stop.
“There was definitely something wrong with our tyre calculations, because there was no way to get to the end on that set of tyres. The stint was just way too long and that really cost us some points.”
Williams’ head of performance engineering Rob Smedley was quick to acknowledge the British team’s error.
“With Valtteri, we tried a strategy which clearly didn’t work,” he said. “We deployed the wrong tactics in the race, which is something we’ve got to learn from.
“We thought the tyres would go to the end but they didn’t and so ninth was the best we could achieve, unfortunately.”
As a result, Williams lost five points to Force India in the fight for fourth place in the Constructors' championship.