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‘It would have been nice to be involved’ – Bottas on Brazilian GP DNF

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 16: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP walks in parc ferme

It’s not often we see Mercedes suffer a technical failure, but Valtteri Bottas was the unlucky recipient in Brazil, the Finn pulling over to the side of the track having suffered an engine problem and robbing him of a chance to be involved in a chaotic end to the race…

Bottas arrived in Brazil on the back of a strong victory in Mexico, but he lacked the pace of his six-time world champion team mate across the Interlagos weekend. In the race, he aborted a one-stop strategy and then ultimately retired when his engine switched itself off.

His retirement – only his second of the season and first because of a mechanical failure - on lap 53 caused a Safety Car, bunching the pack up, and setting up an exciting finish which got even more thrilling when a second Safety Car was required following the two Ferraris colliding.

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“It’s disappointing that we had that kind of issue,” said Bottas. “There was plenty happening after that, it would have been nice to have been involved.

“As I didn’t gain any positions at the start and overtaking looked to be quite difficult, the aim was to try and go long in the first stint, trying to save the tyres a bit.

BRAZILIAN GP: Hard-charging race ends in mechanical retirement for Bottas

“But still I think I was still lacking a bit of pace in the first stint, due to a bit of oversteer, especially in the middle sector, so I was dropping further back, behind what would have been ideal.

“Then I wanted to go for the hard tyre because I thought that would be the one chance to go all the way with one-stop and I still felt that would be possible. But we stopped [for the second time to take the medium], I think to cover Albon, and at that moment I was confused and questioned the call.

“So, it’s still a question mark if I could have made it to the end with one-stop or not. In theory not, but I thought that would be my only chance. In the end, I had the engine failure, but any details about it are still to be confirmed.”

Should Bottas require a new engine, it would exceed his allocation and trigger a grid penalty for Abu Dhabi's season finale, but it remains unclear whether that is required. The power unit has been sent back to base for analysis.

“There was a bit of smoke, but I didn’t actually see it myself, but they reported it to me,” said Bottas. “I couldn’t feel any loss of power, it’s just the engine switched off after Turn 3.”

READ MORE: Ross's review - The thrill of Brazil

When asked if he has enough mileage on used engines already in his pool to go through the Abu Dhabi weekend without a grid penalty, Bottas said: “That’s still to be confirmed. I doubt there’s any miles left, but we’ll see.”

Technical chief James Allison added: “We don’t know anything more about it. We know we had elevated oil consumption during the race that ran away very sharply, very sharply, about half a lap before we saw it expire. The engine stopped itself rather than expired in a heap.”

Valtteri Bottas: 'Would've been nice to been involved' in late battles

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