Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix team radio transcript

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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The team radio communications from the Bahrain Grand Prix reveal the difficulties Mercedes encountered trying to contain the threat of Sebastian Vettel.

Once the Ferrari driver split their cars at the start, and with race leader Valtteri Bottas struggling due to excessively high tyre pressures, Mercedes repeatedly found themselves having to consider swapping the order of their cars.

Ferrari made life difficult for them by making an aggressively early pit stop for Vettel on lap 10. Mercedes could have brought Hamilton in around the same time to take advantage of the same ‘window’ as Vettel, but their pit wall did not believe there was an advantage to that route. Their focus was ensuring he had tyre he could attack with at the end of the race.

To Ferrari’s relief, the Safety Car period which followed Vettel’s pit stop did not cost him the lead, as it had in China. But he still needed to make an additional pit stop to use the soft tyres, giving Hamilton a chance to attack.

In order to do this, Mercedes had to order Valtteri Bottas to let him past a third time. They had already done so once and then rescinded the instruction (but not before Ferrari communicated it to Vettel), and then done so a second time, which was carried out.

Some teams have arranged position swaps between their drivers on the understanding that if the driver who is given the position does not make any progress, they must then let the other driver through. This happened with the Red Bulls in Monaco two years ago. Mercedes have rarely been in this position in recent situations. Their view was that this case was unlike those in that Hamilton ended up so far ahead of Bottas there was no question of instructing him to give the place back.

Of course Mercedes weren’t the only team which had to swap their drivers during the race. Ferrari did so too – and we can expect to see more of that if the championship’s going to remain this close.

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2017 Bahrain Grand Prix team radio transcript

Lap* Driver Message
PR To Kimi Raikkonen

Box this lap for the start.
PR From Kevin Magnussen There’s something wrong with the K deployment.
PR To Kevin Magnussen

We’re investigating.
PR From Kevin Magnussen It doesn’t feel healthy, guys, there’s something wrong.
PR To Kevin Magnussen

OK we are taking a look.
PR From Lewis Hamilton It’s quite dusty even in the pit lane.
PR To Lewis Hamilton

Yeah copy that.
PR To Sebastian Vettel

Watch out for wind, wind is quite strong
PR From Sebastian Vettel Six, seven.
PR From Esteban Ocon I have some understeer now in the car, quite a lot. Turn 11, five, six, seven. Thirteen as well. Back on the grid now.
PR To Esteban Ocon

Copy that Esteban. It’s to be expected, I think.
PR From Esteban Ocon I have some vibration but it’s the tyres which I flat-spotted, no, in quali?
PR To Esteban Ocon

Copy that.
PR From Esteban Ocon Was it, yeah?
PR To Esteban Ocon

It was, but they’re rebalanced.
PR From Esteban Ocon OK.
PR To Lance Stroll

So after turn 13 we’re lift-and-coast, cool the car, straight to grid, remember to check your drinks.
PR From Lance Stroll OK copy straight to the grid, drinks are working.
PR To Romain Grosjean

OK dude you can go to the grid, P9 left-hand side.
PR From Lance Stroll Just to confirm, shut off?
PR To Kevin Magnussen

OK confirm we go to the grid, go to the grid, five me confirmation.
PR From Kevin Magnussen Understood we go to the grid.
PR To Kevin Magnussen

OK you’ll see us there.
PR To Romain Grosjean

Should I stay in P1 or bring it to P0?
PR To Romain Grosjean

You should go to P0.
PR From Lewis Hamilton Radio check
PR To Lewis Hamilton

Yep, radio’s loud and clear
PR To Lewis Hamilton

Radio check from the garage.
PR From Lewis Hamilton Loud and clear.
PR To Lewis Hamilton

Seven minutes to formation lap. Still headwind into one changing between 10 and 20kph.
PR To Kimi Raikkonen

Radio check Kimi.
PR From Kimi Raikkonen Yeah it’s OK. I don’t know if we should take a quarter more out or not, I don’t know. Take a quarter out more and then we;ll see wher ewe are. I don’t think it’s going to do a lot different.
PR To Kimi Raikkonen

OK Kimi the…
PR From Kimi Raikkonen What’s the issue?
PR To Kimi Raikkonen

Just a little bit of damage on the turning vane so we’re adding some tape to cover it over.
PR From Lewis Hamilton Radio check Lewis. Same procedure…
PR To Lewis Hamilton

This umbillical’s really in the way.
PR From Lewis Hamilton Copy that Lewis, we’ll make some improvements with that. So standard procedure like the last two races. Bite point find 30 seconds after firing up and then ten seconds after you arrive back on the grid. Remember the weight revs in the first formation lap start won’t be as good as the weight revs in the race start.
PR To Kevin Magnussen

Ericsson on soft, Ocon is super-soft, Perez super-soft.
1 To Valtteri Bottas

So Vettel car behind.
1 To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis so Verstappen car behind, 0.6.
1 From Daniil Kvyat I lost a lot of places, sorry guys.
1 To Daniil Kvyat

Danny keep your head down.
2 To Max Verstappen

OK display eight Max, when you can.
2 From Lewis Hamilton Feels poor.
2 To Valtteri Bottas

HPP eight to two.
3 To Max Verstappen

Alright Max maybe some tyre management going on ahead. Keep a decent gap to the cars ahead, nice and easy on the tyres at this stage, follow your dash.
3 To Max Verstappen

DRS now enabled.
3 To Valtteri Bottas

So surface temps well under control at the moment.
3 To Lewis Hamilton

Try to improve lift-and-coast efficiency. Verstappen 0.5 behind.
4 To Valtteri Bottas

So Vettel now has DRS, use the overtake if you need it.
4 To Daniel Ricciardo

Bottas pace at the front not that quick, he’s doing 36.7s. So top five cars now all doing exactly the same lap time, everyone 36.8s.
4 To Lewis Hamilton

Think about pushing [brake balance] forwards. Verstappen 0.8 behind.
5 To Esteban Ocon

Suggest white button for turn one.
5 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK so that last lap everyone did a 36.6.
5 To Daniel Ricciardo

Tyre temperatures starting to stabilise. Just keep an eye on that left-rear.
5 To Pascal Wehrlein

List off for brakes, 250 metres.
5 To Max Verstappen

OK Max all under control at the moment. Rear-left tyre temps still creeping up a little bit so think about the corners we discussed.
5 From Lewis Hamilton Tag two to three.
5 To Lewis Hamilton

6 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK mate. Pace at the front stable. People doing 36.5s. Not opening up much.
6 To Daniel Ricciardo

You’re pulling away from Massa, he’s now 2.1 seconds behind you, he’s doing a good job of holding up Raikkonen.
6 To Daniel Ricciardo

How are the tyres and the balance?
6 From Daniel Ricciardo Tyres are OK at the moment. Feel I can hang with them. Just got to manage, mainly entries.
7 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK Daniel understood. Let us know if you want to do anything different with the front wing.
7 From Daniel Ricciardo At the moment it’s all in the ball park.
7 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK undestood. Top two cars that lap was a 37.1. Pace is not fast at the front.
7 To Max Verstappen

Remember line one, Max.
7 From Lance Stroll Got a little flat spot.
7 To Lewis Hamilton

So gap to Vettel 0.8, gap to Verstappen 0.6.
8 To Fernando Alonso

Fernando how are the tyres?
8 From Fernando Alonso Difficult to know. They are OK, I think.
8 From Lance Stroll He’s really holding me up and I have this flat spot.
8 From Lance Stroll Think about boxing.
8 To Lance Stroll

8 To Kimi Raikkonen

Great job Kimi.
9 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK Daniel you’re doing a good job. Tyres are looking pretty stable on temperatuers. You’re doing a good job, mate.
9 To Fernando Alonso

Stroll just pitted, we’re still thinking Plan A.
9 From Fernando Alonso OK.
9 To Lewis Hamilton

Good job with front brakes.
9 To Kimi Raikkonen

Pace is good, Kimi, you were quicker than the guys in front. Just think about being smart with the fuel saving now.
9 From Max Verstappen We are quicker than them but I got stuck.
10 From Kimi Raikkonen Are we OK? Are we under the number correct?
10 To Kimi Raikkonen

Copy, just remember it will get worse.
10 To Kimi Raikkonen

So there’s a yellow flag in turn eight at the minute.
10 To Pascal Wehrlein

We need 25 metres more braking turn one and then we should be safe.
10 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK Daniel Raikkonen behind you in free air but he’s not quick, he’s doinug 36.8s.
10 From Daniel Ricciardo OK, understood.
10 To Daniel Ricciardo

Any more updates on tyres, Daniel, how are you getting on? Temperatures look under control.
10 From Daniel Ricciardo Yeah all under control for now.
10 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK mate you’re doing a good job. Well managed.
10 From Daniel Ricciardo Definitely feel in free air I’ve got more pace. I’ll try to hang with them.
10 To Daniel Ricciardo

11 To Max Verstappen

Give up a little bit in turn 12 if you can, Max. Not really gaining anything much, just stressing the tyres.
11 From Max Verstappen I think we need to do something as well, like Ferrari.
11 To Max Verstappen

We are monitoring, Max.
11 To Kimi Raikkonen

OK Seb has boxed, Kimi. You’re still quicker than all these guys in front, Kimi, you’re doing a good job, just keep it up.
11 To Lewis Hamilton

Give us a balance check, Lewis, it won’t be long.
11 From Lewis Hamilton Generally understeery.
11 To Lewis Hamilton

So down half or down one?
11 From Lewis Hamilton Down one.
11 To Lewis Hamilton

11 To Max Verstappen

OK you’ve got a four-and-a-half second gap to Perez ahead.
12 To Max Verstappen

OK white line on the exit, torque four now.
12 To Kimi Raikkonen

Update on race situation. Seb has stopped, he’s trying to get through traffic at the minute.
12 From Max Verstappen Brakes failed. Aargh!
12 To Max Verstappen

OK Max. Ignition, P1, P0 please mate. P1, ten seconds, P0. Hard luck.
13 From Kimi Raikkonen OK a little bit front wing.
13 To Kimi Raikkonen

So box opposite Ricciardo. Do the opposite to Ricciardo. Concentrate on position, Kimi. Just watch for Alonso, Palmer on track. And engine one, Kimi.
13 To Daniel Ricciardo

It’s yellow turn four. Verstappen shunted.
13 From Lance Stroll I got hit from the side. Completely destroyed from the side. I don’t know what happened.
13 To Lance Stroll

OK. You OK.
13 From Lance Stroll Yeah I’m fine.
13 From Carlos Sainz Jnr He hit me. [Censored by FOM] Stroll hit me. He didn’t see me coming. Turned into me like I was not there.
13 To Valtteri Bottas

So remember only just positive. It’s going to be tight with Vettel. Brake balance for the box.
14 To Valtteri Bottas

And it’ll be tight with Vettel on exit. Entry six, mid four when you can. So you’ve come out behind Vettel.
14 To Valtteri Bottas

So watch for Stroll who is off on the right-hand side at turn two. You’re on super-soft tyres. We did no flap adjust. Your pressures were over one psi too high due to a problem. Your grip will be better this stint.
14 From Valtteri Bottas Copy that. Yeah it was a struggle.
14 To Valtteri Bottas

Reset your diff. Ricciardo is the car behind you. Ricciardo is on soft tyres. Vettel is on super-soft. HPP two to one. And we need to be saving fuel where we can.
14 From Daniel Ricciardo Has anyone ran a the soft yet?
14 To Daniel Ricciardo

Hamilton has also fitted softs. Cool your brakes, please.
14 To Lewis Hamilton

Vettel in P1 then Valtteri in P2. Ricciardo the car ahead and then you. Ricciardo on the soft tyre as are you. Two lead cars on the super-soft.
14 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK mate you did a very good job on that last set of tyres.
14 From Daniel Ricciardo Yep, how was Vettel’s once he put new, was he much quicker.
14 To Daniel Ricciardo

Yes, three seconds quicker. Obviously the pace at the front was nowhere, but Vettel did a 34.6, so two-and-a-half seconds quicker, when he fitted a new set.
15 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK so race order is on Vettel, he’s on three-lap-old super-softs, then Bottas also on new super-softs, the we are P3. Behind you you have Hamilton on soft, Massa on soft, Raikkonen is on scrubbed super-soft, because he didn’t have any new ones left, then Hulkenberg is P7 on softs. Ericsson is now up to eighth, he’s on the old softs he started the race on so he’s likely to be a bit of a roadblock for people behind.
15 To Valtteri Bottas

Just confirm if all the cars that were on the track causing the Safety Car are gone now?
15 From Valtteri Bottas It was on the limit. It will be either this lap or next I think.
15 To Valtteri Bottas

15 To Valtteri Bottas

And chassis default one six set on please. Vettel’s tyres are three laps older and he has been pushing them hard.
15 To Felipe Massa

Felipe as you can see we’re currently P5. P1 and P2 are on the qualifying tyre. Hamilton and Ricciardo currently under investigation.
15 From Felipe Massa OK.
16 To Valtteri Bottas

Just remember for the restart you can use strat five, but strat three will give you the most potent overtake, OK? It’s probably going to be this lap, all the cars have backed onto the Safety Car.
16 To Daniel Ricciardo

For info the pit entry against you and Hamilton is being investigated becaus ehe got in the way and slowed you down in the pit entry. Looked like Hamilton slowed down in the pit lane in front of you, can you confirm that?
16 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK mate understood. We can see what he tried to do.
16 To Kimi Raikkonen

So the track is clear so it may not be long, Kimi.
16 To Valtteri Bottas

So Vettel obviously controlling the pace now. And Safety Car line one where you can overtake is by the pit entry. So Vettel will slow the car down so that the Safety Car can get a gap. He will just suddenly go as well, yep.
17 To Sebastian Vettel

No DRS for Bottas, no DRS. 1.2 seconds behind.
17 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK mate so let’s keep it together. These tyres will come good.
18 To Sebastian Vettel

Have you set to mode to push? Move it, and then back to push, please. OK now it’s fine. Bottas one second behind.
18 To Sebastian Vettel

We don’t need those back-offs, you can push.
18 From Sebastian Vettel Give me an update on the wind.
18 To Sebastian Vettel

Stand by.
18 To Sebastian Vettel

Tailwind turn 11. 15kph. And Bottas 1.5 behind.
19 To Kimi Raikkonen

DRS enabled.
19 From Romain Grosjean Guys I’m losing on every straight line.
19 To Romain Grosjean

We’re checking, we’re checking. The MGU-K is there, not sure why you’re slow.
19 To Romain Grosjean

Mode attack defend. DRS enabled.
20 To Nico Hulkenberg

OK Nico you really need to start looking after the rears now.
20 From Nico Hulkenberg Well I am already a lot.
20 To Nico Hulkenberg

Understood. They’re still creeping up.
20 From Nico Hulkenberg Yeah there’s just not much grip to be honest.
20 To Nico Hulkenberg

20 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK so Vettel is now in the lead on his super-softs. He’s pulling away from Bottas. Hamilton is on Bottas’s tail ahead.
20 From Lewis Hamilton Need to pick up the pace. Can’t let the Ferrari go away.
20 To Lewis Hamilton

OK copy, copy.
20 To Valtteri Bottas

So Valtteri it’s important you stay with Vettel. Lewis is in strat six behind on the soft tyre so you need to keep with Vettel.
20 From Valtteri Bottas Copy.
20 To Valtteri Bottas

So Valtteri we need you to be within a second of Vettel, you need to be in DRS, and you’ll get a maximum of two laps to achieve that, OK.
21 To Valtteri Bottas

So please let Lewis go.
21 From Valtteri Bottas Can you confirm? I just pulled the gap to him in the last lap.
21 To Sebastian Vettel

They are swapping driver position, Hamilton and Bottas.
21 To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis so close up to Valtteri. He’s been given the message.
21 From Lewis Hamilton If he’s picked up his pace, he should be OK. If I can’t catch him, if I get past, I can’t catch up a little bit.
21 To Lewis Hamilton

Just let us know what tag we’re in.
21 From Lewis Hamilton Tag two.
21 To Valtteri Bottas

And stay where you are.
21 From Valtteri Bottas Copy.
22 To Valtteri Bottas

So just focussing on getting that gap to Vettel down. Surface overheating is minor at the moment. But pressure’s so much better than the first stint.
22 To Kimi Raikkonen

And engine five. We’ll get engine one again later.
22 From Valtteri Bottas So we want you to use the tyres to close the gap to Vettel. Target lap is minus one.
23 To Pascal Wehrlein

We need more lift-off for braking, it’s critical.
23 To Daniil Kvyat

What do you think about Palmer? Do we havce any chance?
23 From Daniil Kvyat Yeah we have a chance.
23 To Daniil Kvyat

OK Palmer’s got the DRS of Alonso, it might be difficult.
23 From Daniil Kvyat At the moment, yeah. With him in DRS it’s going to be hard.
23 To Sebastian Vettel

Brake shape zero, suggestion for locking, seems under control. Bottas is 2.8 behind, should try to open this gap. Keep your head down, you are doing well.
24 To Daniel Ricciardo

How are the tyres now Daniel?
24 From Daniel Ricciardo Haven’t got worse but haven’t got better. Just really struggling with the rear.
24 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK understood. Everything stable on temperatures for now.
24 To Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri we need those lap times back down again now, we need to be targeting zero.
24 From Valtteri Bottas OK copy.
24 To Kimi Raikkonen

Fantastic work, Kimi, let’s get on with it now. And back to engine five, Kimi.
25 To Lewis Hamilton

Confirm tag, Lewis.
25 From Lewis Hamilton Still tag two but I don’t want to ruin my tyres.
25 To Lewis Hamilton

OK copy. So Raikkonen is the car behind, 7.4 seconds. Vettel 35.2.
25 To Romain Grosjean

Fuel wasting OK, we can go fuel wasting, keep fuel wasting.
25 To Fernando Alonso

How the hell they can overtake me, 300 metres behind me at the beginning of the straight. I never raced with less power in my life.
26 From Lewis Hamilton For the soft tyre is this pace good?
26 To Lewis Hamilton

Stand by, we’ll let you know.
26 To Lewis Hamilton

And we think we should be faster. There’s debris turn one, yellow turn one, look out for debris.
26 To Lewis Hamilton

So just to confirm Lewis we think we should be faster on this tyre, we’re just reviewing the situation.
26 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK Hamilton on his softs is doing 35.6
26 To Pascal Wehrlein

Very good job on the lift-off now, keep it like this.
27 To Valtteri Bottas

And please let Lewis through.
27 To Valtteri Bottas

Lewis does have a five-second penalty.
27 From Valtteri Bottas Copy. I’ll let him through.
27 To Valtteri Bottas

So it’s important you stay close to Lewis, obviously.
27 From Valtteri Bottas These rears are overheating. For sure the soft is going to be better.
27 To Valtteri Bottas

Yeah, copy that.
28 To Kimi Raikkonen

So Merc have swapped the cars, Bottas is now the car in front, he’s not particularly quick.
28 To Lewis Hamilton

Let’s go strat three, let’s close thatgap. Vettel 35.3, that’s a good lap time. See if you can close up.
28 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK mate keep plugging away. Mode seven will fill up the battery quicker.
29 To Sebastian Vettel

Pull the red button. And keep your head down. This is an important phase of the race. Stay focused. Hamilton six behind.
29 To Valtteri Bottas

So it’s not going to be long, just looking for the window. Keep the pressure up.
29 To Daniel Ricciardo

Raikkonen can only do 36.0s on super-softs, I think you’re quicker than that.
30 From Kimi Raikkonen I have a little bit too much front wing in 12 but I’m in the window. And I’m struggling in two also. The rest is not too bad, little bit in the mid-corner.
30 To Kimi Raikkonen

Understood Kimi. Just be aware Ricciardo has overtaken Massa, he’s the car behind. He’s six seconds at the minute. I’ll update you on his pace.
30 From Daniil Kvyat Light, rear left, OK?
30 To Daniil Kvyat

We check, we check.
31 To Valtteri Bottas

Box, going to soft tyres, going to be tight on exit, need a good pit stop.
31 To Sebastian Vettel

Mercedes in the pit with Bottas. Bottas on option [soft] tyres.
31 To Valtteri Bottas

Pushing three out of three to get ahead of the cars in front of you. They are all on older tyres.
31 To Lewis Hamilton

So Valtteri has now stopped, he’s taken soft, going to the end. Raikkonen is the car behind, eleven seconds.
32 To Daniel Ricciardo

How Daniel how are the balance and tyres in free air?
32 From Daniel Ricciardo It’s stabilised a bit but not getting better.
32 To Daniel Ricciardo

32 From Daniel Ricciardo Rear’s still nervous and I’ve got to watch the front.
32 To Daniel Ricciardo

When you get close to a car do you lose front or rear?
32 From Daniel Ricciardo Rear, lose more rear.
32 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK, understood.
33 From Sebastian Vettel OK I’m starting to struggle a bit with the tyres.
33 From Kimi Raikkonen Check what happened into turn four, low speed, there’s something wrong
33 To Kimi Raikkonen

We see the issue Kimi, I’ll come back with any action
33 From Kimi Raikkonen Come on it’s really disturbing. Is 2.2 the normal position?
33 To Kimi Raikkonen

Confirm but this is not the issue, this is not the issue. Driver default A five on should fix the issue.
33 From Kimi Raikkonen Something [unclear] lap time on the straight. The issue is still there.
33 To Kimi Raikkonen

Understood Kimi, understood, we’re checking what’s going on.
33 From Lewis Hamilton So far this is a better tyre but I need to get by… difference. Monitor Valtteri.
33 To Lewis Hamilton

OK copy. Vettel 35.5
34 To Sebastian Vettel

And box Sebastian, box.
34 To Lewis Hamilton

They’ve hit the pits, Lewis, this is our opportunity.
34 To Lewis Hamilton

So Lewis we’re going to continue pushing this long, make sure we’ve got a nice big offset.
34 To Pascal Wehrlein

On the main straight you can use overtake button.
34 To Valtteri Bottas

So pushing two out of three. Ricciardo car ahead, he has not stopped yet, 20-lap-old soft tyres.
35 To Valtteri Bottas

Vettel has stopped and he is six seconds ahead.
35 To Sebastian Vettel

We need to look after these tyres until the end. Hamilton will go long and then come back at the end.
35 From Lewis Hamilton Tyres have definitely taken a step.
35 To Lewis Hamilton

36 To Kimi Raikkonen

So Kimi we can’t hold Seb up but we do need to stay out as long as possible.
36 From Kimi Raikkonen Why do we need to stay out? Cause the tyres are…
36 To Kimi Raikkonen

We need to match Ricciardo behind.
36 From Kimi Raikkonen But is he catching me behind?
36 To Kimi Raikkonen

He wasn’t before we swapped.
37 From Fernando Alonso [Censored by FOM] he was, what, 300 metres behind us on the straight?
37 To Fernando Alonso

Fernando we are considering plan B, how are the tyres?
37 From Fernando Alonso Do whatever you want, man.
37 From Kimi Raikkonen Is there nothing that I can do with the issue? And I am struggling with the tyres so stop me sooner than just waiting what the others are doing otherwise they will catch me.
37 To Kimi Raikkonen

Understood Kimi, I’m watching him. And for the issue I’m afraid not. But I’m on the tyres.
37 To Fernando Alonso

And box this lap, box now, stay right of line, limiter. Launch map. Ericsson at the start/finish line now. And 100% pace.
38 To Lewis Hamilton

So Raikkonen on 24-lap-old super-softs and that’s a 36.9, he’s just pitted.
38 From Kimi Raikkonen I cannot get the gear in.
38 To Kimi Raikkonen

Understood, Kimi. And SOC [state of charge] five, Kimi.
38 To Pascal Wehrlein

We are racing a group ahead of three cars, all on softs, similar age.
39 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK Daniel so Raikkonen has just pitted he’s now on the soft tyres. We’re going to go a little bit longer to get a bigger advantage.
39 From Daniel Ricciardo Understood. The rear’s pretty stable for now, just got to watch the front. The rear’s still the bigger lap time lost.#
39 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK, understood.
39 From Lewis Hamilton This tyre feels good but I’m thinking a Safety Car or something?
39 To Lewis Hamilton

Yeah copy that Lewis, we’re thinking something similar.
39 To Valtteri Bottas

So it’s important to close the gap to Vettel. Lewis has a five-second penalty but is still yet to stop.
40 From Lewis Hamilton What’s the gap behind?
40 To Lewis Hamilton

Gap behind 11.5 seconds to Vettel. He’s 34.3 last lap.
40 To Daniel Ricciardo

Box Daniel, box this lap.
40 To Esteban Ocon

You’re in P12, you need to get past two cars for a point.
40 To Daniel Ricciardo

OK you’ll be close to Massa at pit exit. Diff six. Try the brakes before turn one. You’ll be close to Massa at turn one. Think about the overtake.
41 To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis so we have a five-second penalty for driving slow on the pit entry in the last stop. We’re going to serve it at the pit stop. We’re going to offset ourselves as much as we can. We can take the same tyre and see what we can do. We will need to overtake Valtteri on-track.
41 From Lewis Hamilton Sorry guys.
41 To Lewis Hamilton

Don’t worry Lewis, keep your head down mate, just get on with it.
41 To Lewis Hamilton

Box box, we’ll be serving this penalty, just remember keep the brake pressure on.
42 To Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton boxed this lap.
42 To Lewis Hamilton

You have 16 laps remaining.
42 From Lewis Hamilton Why did we go for this tyre?
42 To Lewis Hamilton

It’s all based on data, Lewis, we think this is the better tyre. Go strat mode three.
43 From Lewis Hamilton How much is Vettel ahead?
43 To Lewis Hamilton

You’ve got 15 laps remaiing. You did 28 on the last tyre.
44 From Esteban Ocon [Unclear] to catch the other car as well?
44 To Esteban Ocon

That’s it, that’s all there is, Hulkenberg.
45 To Pascal Wehrlein

Alonso behind is lapping 36.0.
45 To Marcus Ericsson

OK Marcus maximum push, keep attacking him.
46 To Daniel Ricciardo

Vettel, Bottas still doing 34.5s at the front. Hamilton stopped later than us on soft tyres and he’s catching them quickly.
46 To Sebastian Vettel

12 to go, Hamilton is closing on Bottas with used option [soft]. Hamilton is 15 seconds behind you. Bottas in 10.8 seconds behind.
47 To Lewis Hamilton

Gap to Vettel now down to 14.7
47 To Lewis Hamilton

Vettel 34.1. You’ve got the pace to win this Lewis, come on mate.
47 To Valtteri Bottas

And don’t hold Lewis up. He is two seconds a lap quicker, pushing for the win
47 To Valtteri Bottas

And please let Lewis go.
48 To Lewis Hamilton

So Vettel 13 seconds ahead. Ten laps remaining.
48 To Sebastian Vettel

Ten laps to go, Hamilton is now behind you, 13 seconds.
48 To Lewis Hamilton

Vettel’s coming up to backmarker traffic Lewis, it’s still all to play for, come on mate.
49 To Valtteri Bottas

So just remember try and stay as close as you can to Lewis.
49 From Valtteri Bottas The rear end is just all over the place, I don’t know what is the problem.
49 To Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton lap time 3.5, one seconds faster, 12 seconds behind.
49 To Kimi Raikkonen

Just 1.2 seconds quicker than lap, Kimi, it’s all there.
49 From Kimi Raikkonen I don’t know what you said.
49 To Kimi Raikkonen

So 1.1 seconds quicker than him last lap.
50 To Lewis Hamilton

Am I on the right trajectory?
50 From Lewis Hamilton Affirm Lewis, on the right trajectory, it’s all going to happen at the end. Just keep it up, mate.
50 To Daniel Ricciardo

Eight laps to go, Raikkonen ahead still doing around 34.0s. Massa behind mid-35s. Vettel at the front still in 34.5s on his softs.
50 To Sebastian Vettel

Can use DRS. Kvyat next car in front, blue flag. Seven seconds, a bit of fresh air.
51 To Sebastian Vettel

And push the ‘ovi’ button.
51 From Lewis Hamilton Has Vettel passed these cars?
51 To Lewis Hamilton

He’s passed two, he’s got another three ahead. It’s Palmer and Ericsson coming up. Vettel 34.2.
51 From Lewis Hamilton Gap?
51 To Lewis Hamilton

Gap now under nine seconds. Four cars…
51 From Lewis Hamilton How many laps?
51 To Lewis Hamilton

You’ve got seven laps remaining.
52 From Lewis Hamilton Tyres are starting to drop.
52 To Sebastian Vettel

Very good lap, Sebastian. Holding there.
52 To Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton saying his tyres are starting to drop. His lap times 33.3. It’s looking good.
52 From Marcus Ericsson Gearbox broken.
52 To Marcus Ericsson

What’s going on?
52 From Marcus Ericsson Gearbox broken.
52 From Marcus Ericsson We cannot restart it, no?
52 To Marcus Ericsson

Stand by. Stop the car. Switch off procedure. Can you hear me?
52 From Marcus Ericsson Yeah.
52 To Marcus Ericsson

52 From Marcus Ericsson OK I abort.
52 To Marcus Ericsson

Yeah jump out.
53 To Sebastian Vettel

Safety Car window is closed.
53 To Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton is catching Palmer now, blue flags to Palmer. We are three cars infront. Kvyat blue flag soon. Double yellow turn four. Watch out. Marshal on the left. Be careful.
53 To Valtteri Bottas

OK so we’ve got a chance to save the engine if you want. So Raikkonen is seven-and-a-half seconds behind on younger soft tyres. You can go strat nine if you want and manage the gap. Kimi at the moment is a second a lap quicker. Yellow turn four.
53 From Lewis Hamilton Are we still on target to close or not?
53 To Lewis Hamilton

It’s very close at the moment, Lewis, we just want to see. Vettel’s got three cars with traffic. Just want to see if he’ll lose time there.
54 To Pascal Wehrlein

So Vettel overtook Alonso. You will get blue flags now. Vettel race leader.
54 To Pascal Wehrlein

Good job on the blue flags. Now push to the end. Three laps to go.
54 From Lewis Hamilton How many laps?
54 To Lewis Hamilton

Four laps remaining, four laps.
54 To Lewis Hamilton

OK Lewis Vetel cleared that traffic quite efficiently so let’s go back to strat six. We’ll just see if there’s opportunities at the end, just keep the pace up.
54 From Lewis Hamilton It’s too big a gap, right?
54 To Lewis Hamilton

Yeah feels like it, Lewis. Let’s just see if anything happens. Strat six and go HPP eight to one.
55 From Fernando Alonso Engine, engine problem. Engine problem. Box now. Engine. Problem.
55 To Fernando Alonso

OK Fernando box this lap to retire the car. Try to cool the car. Raikkonen is plus three.
56 To Sebastian Vettel

Engine nine, Sebastian. Hamilton 6.9 behind.
57 To Romain Grosjean

One lap to go, one lap.
57 From Lewis Hamilton Gap behind?
57 To Lewis Hamilton

You’ve got five seconds to Wehrlein who’s traffic. Plenty of space behind for Valtteri.
VL To Valtteri Bottas

Great job. Sorry about that, didn’t have the car underneath us to be able to make the most of it. Especially with the pressures in that first stint. HPP eight to thirteen please.
VL To Daniel Ricciardo

OK so finishing order was Vettel, he won by six seconds over Hamilton, Bottas was third, 14 seconds behind Hamilton. Raikkonen finished just behind Bottas, two seconds behind him, and he was 16 seconds ahead of us, we were in P5. Behind you you had Massa, Perez, Grosjean was eight, Hulkenberg ninth and Ocon tenth.
VL From Daniel Ricciardo OK, understood.
VL To Daniel Ricciardo

Good effort Daniel. We just seemed to lose out a huge amount in the middle stint there. First stint was looking alright and it got away from us in the second stint so need to understand that. Well done.
VL To Sebastian Vettel

P1 Sebastian. What a race. You were the quickest.
VL From Sebastian Vettel Woohoo! Yes guys! Yes yes yes. That’s what I’m talking about.
VL To Sebastian Vettel

Mode slow and cool the brakes, hot in brakes.
VL To Lewis Hamilton

Well done Lewis mate P2. Tough day in the office but great drive, really strong last part. HPP eight to thirteen. Strat mode 12. And start 13 now.
VL From Lewis Hamilton Lost power.
VL To Lewis Hamilton

Yep just hit the bottom of the pack. That’s no problem.
VL To Kimi Raikkonen

Good job Kimi. Your pace today deserved you a much better result than you got. Lap mode Safety Car In, Kimi.
VL To Felipe Massa

Well done mate that was a good drive, thank you, a lot of points for the team.
VL From Felipe Massa Thank you very much.
VL To Pascal Wehrlein

Good job Pascal. Great race, P11 at the end. Unfortuantely we missed the points but good race. We need Safety Car fuel-save. And slow in for brakes, pick up rubber.
VL From Pascal Wehrlein Good job.
VL To Pascal Wehrlein

Yeah good fight at the end, Pascal, great job. Vettel won, Hamilton second, Bottas third, Raikkonen then Ricciardo, Massa, Perez, Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Ocon P10.
VL To Romain Grosjean

Chequered flag Romain. P8, back in the points.
VL From Romain Grosjean Good job everyone, it’s good to be back in the points. Shame about the Safety Car, wrong timing, but I think Perez was a bit faster in the end. Good job everyone.
VL To Romain Grosjean

Good drive, nice overtaking.
VL To Jolyon Palmer

OK Jo tough race today. Finishing order Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Massa, Perez, Grosjean, Nico, Esteban, Wehrlein, Kvyat, yourself. Don’t forget to go to P0 in parc ferme please.
VL From Jolyon Palmer Yep, will do.
VL From Sebastian Vettel Grazie ragazzi! Buon compleanno, Andrea!

Lap: Refers to lap message was broadcast on. There may be a delay between messages being said and being broadcast. PR = pre-race; FL = formation lap; VL = victory lap.
Message: Repetitive or irrelevant messages omitted. Notes in italics. Highlights in bold.

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Bahrain Grand Prix data

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “2017 Bahrain Grand Prix team radio transcript”

  1. Wow! reads like a “edge of the seat” thriller – especially the Hamilton and Vettel’s messages. What does Lewis mean by “lost power” at the end? Seems likes Merc pulled out ALL the stops and maxed out the engine.

    1. Based on the engineer’s comment after, I think he drained the energy store (battery pack).

      Since that’s up to 160HP, I expect it would feel like you just lost a cylinder or two. :)

    2. Anyone know what reason ric’s tyres didnt turn on?

  2. When Seb win the race, in the race itself Seb so calm…not many words from him…unlike Merc and Lewis..

  3. Vettel is the most Italian driver on the grid lol.

    1. He knows how to get some love from us :)

  4. 51 To Sebastian Vettel And push the ‘ovi’ button.

    Does anyone know what the “ovi” button does?

  5. Seems like kevins problems was from the start…unlucky days there…even qualify was blown by SAI

  6. Congratulations Jo you finished last 👏

  7. What is “tag two” and “tag three”, only Mercedes drivers seem to be using this.

    So much of chatter between Ricciardo and his engineer, and most of it seems to be about others’ times and others’ races. Very little about their own. No mention of the cool tyres after restart

  8. I love this:

    29 – To Sebastian Vettel – Pull the red button. And keep your head down. This is an important phase of the race. Stay focused. Hamilton six behind.

    Reminds me of this:

    Kay: Do you remember the little red button?
    Jay: [warily] Yeah…
    Kay: Push the little red button.
    [Jay pushes it]
    Kay: And you may want to put on a seatbelt…

  9. 25 — Fernando Alonso — How the hell they can overtake me, 300 metres behind me at the beginning of the straight. I never raced with less power in my life.

    I bet the Honda mechanics cringed when they heard that.

    1. knoxploration
      22nd April 2017, 3:38

      I know *I* winced, and my eight-year old son said “Ooooooooo!” on hearing it… I think pretty much anybody who could speak English or even just get the intonations understood Fernando perfectly there. ;)

    2. So far I’m loving the jabs taken at Honda. My favourite was the one during pre season testing where McLaren claimed they can take all corners flat out because of the power deficit. Then the jabs taken by Hamilton in a press conference about Honda, and now, non stop radio rants.

      I think, by the end of the year Honda will just end up leaving the sport because they’ve been publicly humiliated to such great extent.

  10. @keithcollantine
    Obviously these are the radio messages that were broadcast during the race.
    Is there anyway to see the full transcript of those not broadcast also?

    A full breakdown per driver would give true insight, or bore us to death.

    nice to know either way.

Comments are closed.