Valtteri Bottas says his choice of tire at his first pit stop was an "error" because he locked it in a two-stop strategy.
Bottas, who led the first laps of the race, was the first of the two Mercedes drivers to reach the pits. He put on a second set of medium compound tires, which ensured he would have to make a second pit stop later in the race.
At the time, he was trying to stay close enough to Lewis Hamilton to make sure his teammate came out of the pits behind him.
"After my first stop, I felt I was under control," said Bottas. "I was following closely the gap, the pit stop gap I had with Lewis, and I was just waiting for it to stop and, obviously, the Safety Car had it ahead at that time."
"I got stuck in two stops at that stage, because we stopped again in the middle with medium tires, so it meant that I had to stop at the end anyway, which was a mistake on our part. It would be the fastest, but in reality it was also possible to stop, not quite ideal, but one of these days. "
Bottas, who has dropped 39 points behind his teammate at the top of the points classification, got some consolation for the end of Mercedes two after his hard weekend in Austria.
"At least I felt that the pace was good today and yesterday, so there are positive things to take," he said. "Also, really, very happy for us as a team, getting the most points and the gap with the teams behind is quite impressive."
He also prevailed in a close battle with Hamilton in the first laps of the race. "We had good races at the beginning and I really enjoyed it," he said.
"That's why we're here, to compete hard and fair, I'm sure Toto [Wolff, team principal] maybe we do not enjoy it as much as we do, but it does not matter. "
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F1 season 2019
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