Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Bottas expects same set-up as Hamilton after aerodynamic differences in Portugal

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas expects to run the same aerodynamic set-up as his team mate this weekend after the pair raced different rear wings in Portugal.

At Autodromo do Algarve, where Bottas qualified on pole position but slipped to third place in the race, he ran a steeper rear wing with a single support pillar. Lewis Hamilton, who took victory from second on the grid, ran a slimmer rear wing with two struts.

Bottas expects a single solution will be used on both cars for this weekend’s race at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“I think this weekend we’re planning to run the same set-up in terms of rear wing and everything,” he said. “And I think for this track we have a pretty good understanding what should be the optimal for both. So I think from that side it is OK.”

The pair headed the times in today’s second practice session, Hamilton ahead by a tenth of a second.

Mercedes has been unbeaten in qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya since 2013. But Bottas expects a close fight for pole position tomottow.

“Tonight it’s the usual thing,” he said, “trying to fine-tune the set-up as best as we can because every millisecond we can find we know is going to help in the quali.”

“It seems close,” he added. “The Ferrari was pretty good today. You never know.

“But I think we should still keep focussing on our performance and trying to get maximum out of the package and hopefully we can be ahead. We just focus on ourself and especially for me personally, focus on my work.”

Bottas’ rear wing had a single pillar…
compared to Hamilton’s twin-strut set-up

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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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13 comments on “Bottas expects same set-up as Hamilton after aerodynamic differences in Portugal”

  1. Now that the difference in wing setup cannot be used as an excuse, I wonder what will Bottas come up with for lack of race pace on Sunday :-D

    1. You do not really think Bottas is allowed to win a race as it stands?
      Losing some points for Lewis is unthinkable for Toto.
      So two options:
      different cars or adjusting the setting during the race ( so called “sensor problem”, only happens to Bottas)
      Or a call… valteri this is james….

      1. Yes Bottas is allowed to win. Mercedes have shown this over and over.

        The even go as far as to not allow Hamilton to use a different strategy anymore to attack Bottas (in the case he’s behind Bottas), they don’t even allow significant difference in stint length anymore or differences in tyre compound strategies..

        With all this they actually hurt overall team performance. Just to remove any shred of doubt that both drivers are treated equally to the extreme. And then there are people like you who just claim that Bottas is not allowed to win. Based on what?

      2. I don’t believe in those conspiracy theories. If the car is good, then it’s either a white painted line on the start grid or some bee buzzing around that’ll hamper Bottas.

        I have a feeling that he’s relieved when there is an actual problem because then he doesn’t have to come up with some wild excuses 😄

    2. @rockgod Yeah because as we know Bottas always get the best parts first. Now he won’t have that advantage he used to get pole like last race.

      1. Mercedes isn’t Red Bull, where the best and newest parts have traditionally gone to their lead driver.

        Of course, if you have any evidence of Lewis getting parts over Bottas, you should supply it.

        You cannot simply make stuff up because you want to win an argument.

  2. So far no word from Toto to confirm that both drivers will indeed be getting the same aero package.
    There are rumours in the paddock [esp from British sources] that it is Russell and not Bottas who will be getting the same rear wing as Lewis. That is not making life any the less stressful for Bottas.

    1. TBF he’d make life easier on himself by not reacting to the press and showing that they get to him, and by not letting their rivals through on track.

    2. Surely the Mercedes rear wing doesn’t fit on the Williams!

      1. Fits nicely on the Aston Martin though…..

    3. Both drivers have the same options. Bottas made his choice to go for extra Q3 speed while Hamilton opted for the better setup for the race.

  3. It is really sad hearing and reading this sort of report, you just know that it is expectation management, lining up the reasons it didn’t go well today, tomorrow or Sunday.

    Bottas is in a miserable place and all the Wolff whistles of support won’t change it because Bottas knows that the team ( Wolff, Mercedes, Ineos) are ruthless business people who expect highly paid staff to deliver and if they don’t then the future is limited for them.

    1. Yeah if Bottas stops to deliver at the amazing level he’s been doing all these years, it’s straight out the door. As you say there would be no other reason for Wolff to keep him.

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