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Bottas slams 'sub-optimal' Silverstone strategy after falling to third


The Finn was not impressed to see his teammate second.

Valtteri Bottas felt he could have won the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone but for a "sub-optimal" strategy as Mercedes suffered with tyre issues.

In hot conditions, the Silver Arrows' tyres blistered while Max Verstappen, who was the only driver in the top 10 to start on the hard compound, saw few problems in his Red Bull and claimed his first victory of the season.

Failure to extend Mercedes' run of victories at the start of the 2020 Formula 1® campaign was particularly painful for pole-sitter Bottas.

He finished third, also behind colleague Lewis Hamilton, and felt he had been dealt a poor hand by his team.

Bottas said on the podium the result was "not ideal" and Mercedes had been "sleeping", before explaining his frustration further to Sky Sports.

"The win should have been possible today. The pace was good," he said.

"When Max got ahead of me, I had no information to push harder, so we ended up pretty much side by side when he pitted. If I knew before that, I could pick up more pace, I had some more pace in hand.

"So I lost some track position there. And then obviously the last stint was too long for me.

"Lewis went longer for the middle stint and it worked out better. For me, the strategy was sub-optimal.

"At the end of the race, I said I didn't quite understand what happened. We are still yet to have all the debriefs. I'm sure there will be a good discussion, but it's just disappointing.

"But the Red Bull car with Max was able to drive without any blisters under their tyres, while me and Lewis had lots of blistering. I think there was a difference there.

"It's another one to learn from. We lost lots of points today, which is not good. We'll try again next week."

However, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff disagreed with his driver, saying Bottas was always unlikely to win given the conditions.

"No, the win was not there for us," he told Sky Sports. "Clearly, we were not the fastest car. Then you cannot optimise the strategy.

"Did we get it right or wrong? It's not clear. But when there is such a margin, as Max had, it was ours to settle for second and third and protect this position."