James Allison felt Valtteri Bottas’ first stint during the Austrian Grand Prix was ‘mighty’ as he pulled a significant gap over Sebastian Vettel ahead of the one and only pit stop cycle.
Although the Finn did not have the same kind of pace in the second stint – mainly down to a blister on his tyre – he was able to clinch his second win of 2017 at the Red Bull Ring, finishing ahead of Vettel by 0.658 seconds.
“It was a brilliant day for Valtteri whose pace in the first stint was absolutely mighty,” said Allison. “The second half of his race was hampered by a blister but he drove with great poise to score his second win.”
Allison, the Technical Director at the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, was also pleased the way Lewis Hamilton maximised his result after starting eighth following a gearbox change. He managed to pass both Sahara Force India F1 Team drivers and Romain Grosjean on track before jumping Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane, but missed out on a podium by 1.418 seconds to Daniel Ricciardo.
“Lewis came achingly close to the podium in the final laps, probably half a car length away from passing Ricciardo,” said Allison. “We are sorry about the gearbox penalty he suffered but he tackled the situation as he always does: he got his head down and made the most of it.
“This was a good race for our Constructors’ Championship position, extending our slender advantage over Ferrari, but we need to make sure we give Lewis the equipment he needs at the next races to make sure he doesn’t start Sunday afternoon on the back foot.”