Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver Valtteri Bottas revealed a “loss of hydraulic pressure” was to blame for his early retirement from the Austrian Grand Prix, adding that “there was nothing I could have done to prevent [it].”
Bottas completed just thirteen laps of the seventy-one lap race, recording his first official retirement of the year in the process. Having qualified on pole he dropped behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen at the start, though was able to rise to second behind Hamilton by the fourth corner. From there he settled in behind Hamilton and looked to be fairly secure in second, until a plume of smoke rose out the back of his F1 W09 EQ Power car emerged and he was forced to pull out of the race on the outside of the fourth corner.
The cause, Bottas revealed after the race, was a loss of hydraulic pressure.
The Finn wasn’t alone in his bad luck – fellow drivers Lewis Hamilton, Brendon Hartley, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg all found themselves retiring with reliability issues as well.
Speaking after the race Bottas commented on his luck (or lack thereof) so far this year, saying that whilst today wasn’t his day, “one day it will be”.
“The luck I’m having this year feels like a bit of a bad joke at the moment. My start was not ideal; I had quite a bit of wheel spin and there was less grip than we expected, so I dropped a few places. Going into Turn 3, I could recover two places and was back in second place.
“After that the car felt strong, we were running well, but then I suddenly experienced a loss of hydraulic pressure. There was nothing I could have done to prevent the DNF. We need to investigate and find the cause of the issues we had today, but I’m sure we will recover from this result. I guess it was just not meant to be today – but one day it will be.“