Formula 1

Hypersoft Tyre the ‘Weakness’ for Mercedes in Monte Carlo – Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas says the Hypersoft tyre, raced for the first time in last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, is a nice tyre for Qualifying, but for Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, it was a compound that was difficult to maintain performance in on race day.

The Finn finished fifth at the Circuit de Monaco but like team-mate Lewis Hamilton struggled with graining and degradation with the Hypersoft tyre in the opening stages of the race, and with the Canadian Grand Prix also utilising the Pink-banded compound, it is important for Mercedes to learn about them should it be a necessity to qualify on them again at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“It is a nice tyre for qualifying but for the race it is very difficult to keep it alive and avoid the big degradation and graining,” Bottas is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.

“We will analyse everything we can from this weekend because I think other teams could operate the hyper better than us in the long runs, and that is something for us to learn for Montreal, if we cannot qualify with any other tyre in Q2.”

Bottas admitted the performance of the Supersoft during the race came as a little bit of a surprise, particularly after its showing during practice on Thursday, but for Monaco, the definite weakness for Mercedes was the Hypersoft.

“I think honestly with the Hyper for us in the race was the weakness, I think,” said the Finn.  “Otherwise we have managed to get them to work pretty well. I think the Ultra and Super we could work them as we should.

“Honestly [the Supersoft] was a surprise for us in the race. On Thursday it didn’t look anything that special, so it looked okay. It was definitely the best tyre to be on.

“I think it is just the Hyper, how quick it degraded that was the issue for us.  I think the pace this weekend back in qualifying, why we were not fighting for pole it is not the tyres, it is more the car and how it is. It is just not quick around this track.”

Bottas admitted he was somewhat surprised by the stint that Pierre Gasly managed on the Hypersoft, which came to an end after thirty-seven laps, and it proved that Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda were finding better performance from Pirelli’s softest tyre than Mercedes were.

“I think it was impressive how long stint they could do with the hyper so for sure they were doing something better than us with that tyre,” said Bottas.

“I think the weakness for us this weekend was the long run performance with the hyper and general lack of pace with the car.”

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