Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Bottas: Glazed brakes contributed to 1.5-second gap to Hamilton

2020 Styrian Grand Prix

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Last week’s Austrian Grand Prix pole-winner Valtteri Bottas fell out of contention in today’s wet qualifying session due to glazed brakes on his Mercedes.

Bottas qualified fourth, one-and-a-half seconds behind team mate Lewis Hamilton, though just three-tenths away from joining him on the front row.

“Valtteri’s session had started very well,” said Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin, “but he ended up with a bit of glazing on his front-right brake disc, which made life difficult for him on braking and getting heat into the tyres – and ultimately cost him.”

Glazing can occur on brakes in very low temperatures, reducing the caliper’s ability to grip the disc. This makes it easier for the driver to lock the wheels under heavy braking.

Bottas described how the problem made the already treacherous conditions even more difficult.

“It was tough sometimes, quite a bit of rain and aquaplaning, it was really tricky,” hesaid. “The main issue I had [was] the front right brake was glazing. So then I couldn’t really find a proper braking points and because every lap was slightly different.

“In the wet conditions it’s quite important for the confidence that you’re good on the brakes.”

Hamilton avoided any similar problem and set two lap times which were quick enough for pole position. “I think Lewis managed to build more tyre temperature over the runs and always at the end of the runs he was quicker,” said Bottas.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

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12 comments on “Bottas: Glazed brakes contributed to 1.5-second gap to Hamilton”

  1. RocketTankski
    11th July 2020, 21:34

    Glazed cakes were to blame

    1. You think he not only went to Monaco but also decided to forego the porridge diet? Might be the only reasonable explanation!

    2. Not really onboard shows Bottas used the wrong lines (for dry weather) and not the ones Lewis and Max used.

  2. Bottas, that’s the difference between you and Lewis, he finds things only greats do, not to discount you but sadly it’s the truth. Bring out the Bottas 3.0,you might have a chance.

      1. This.

      2. And don’t forget that Mexican start (2016) with the cross-country show due to brake glazing also

      3. Yes, glazing can be a problem. But it cannot be a 1.5s problem. In 2014 belgian Grand Prix glazing caused Lewis to lose pole by 0.2s (not 1.5s).

      4. Even with that problem, Hamilton was only 2 tenths slower than Rosberg in Spa 2014 not 1.4 like Bottas.

  3. No, turn down Hamilton’s engine, and Bottas might have a chance.

    All things being equal, Hamilton will always be the better driver.

  4. I do wonder whether Bottas’s problems with brake glazing may have come about as a result of the way he prepared his car during Q2.

    In Q2, Bottas went for a fairly quick outlap and then two fast flying laps, before then doing two relatively slow laps after that – his pace varied quite a bit after that, as he seemed to alternate faster laps with slower laps during Q2. Hamilton, by contrast, took a more measured approach, going for a medium paced outlap and first lap, then a quicker lap – whilst he did then go through a sequence of faster and slower laps, he didn’t change his pace quite as much during that session as Bottas did.

    I wonder if that relatively rapid cycling of temperatures by Bottas made him more prone to overheating the surface, with the glazing then occurring as the surface cooled more rapidly on those slower laps, whereas the more measured approach by Hamilton resulted in a more even distribution of heat through the disc and meant he was less prone to glazing problems.

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