Tire degradation costs Bottas five places on final two laps


Valtteri Bottas will be leaving the Marina Bay Street Circuit tonight thinking of what could have been after losing five positions in the final two laps of the Singapore Grand Prix to eventually finish the race in 11th place.

The Finn had qualified eighth in Singapore and was running well until the dying stages of the race, when his tires – 36 laps old by the end – began to fade. This allowed Jean-Eric Vergne, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen to all find a way past and leave the Williams driver outside of the points.

This result marks the first time in 2014 that Bottas has finished a race outside of the points, with his only other non-score the result of a retirement in Monaco.

“After the safety car we moved to a two-stop strategy and in the end the tires just weren’t able to hold on,” Bottas explained after the race. “On the final lap I had a big lock up in the rear tires when I was defending and after that I had no grip and cars could easily sweep past.

“I also had an issue with the power steering in the final stint and this made it harder to keep the tires alive as I lost a lot of feeling in the car. If I hadn’t had this issue then I might have been able to go until the end.”

Despite the result, Bottas was still pleased with how the weekend went as Williams stayed ahead of Ferrari in the race for third place in the constructors’ championship.

“Obviously I’m disappointed not to finish in the points but we can take a lot of positives from this weekend as we looked competitive at a track that is less suited to our car and we have kept third place in the constructors’ championship,” the Finn said.

In the sister Williams, Felipe Massa managed to come home in fifth place, continuing his good form from the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago.