Valtteri Bottas has always been chosen by the Mercedes team to do the dirty work during a race. However, this time it wasn’t quite pre-planned, as an error by the Ferrari pit crew meant that Vettel came out behind Bottas after the German pitted deep into the race, thanks to the soft tyres that he had started on at the start.
With Vettel coming in behind Bottas on a fresh set of ultras, it was always going to be a matter of time before Bottas had to make way for Vettel.
However, Bottas wasn’t quite making it easy for the 4 time world champion, as he kept taking care of those tyres and kept driving beautifully in order to keep Vettel at bay.
But those tyres weren’t going to hold on for long and Vettel saw the opportunity, going into Turn 1 on lap 65. Vettel had gotten in front heading into Turn 2, but Bottas who braked a little late, hit Vettel in the back and damaged his own front wing.
Vettel carried on without any visible damage to the car and Raikkonen too benefitted from the crash, as he was able to get past Bottas, who had run wide after the small crash.
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— miyagawa #F1 (@miyagawa55) July 29, 2018
Bottas later suffered contact with Ricciardo as well and was pushed down to 5th towards the end of the race. A brilliant weekend for Bottas just transformed into his worst nightmare.
It will be interesting to see what Mercedes have to say about Ferraro and Mercedes coming together once again.