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GP Week : Issue 226
A mix up with tyres at his first pitstop provied costly for Valtteri Bottas when the team fitted a mixed set of Pirelli's to his car. Running with Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean in the early stages, Bottas dropped to ninth at the finish after he was forced to ser ve a drive- through penalty following a bizarre tyre mix up by the team. It saw the Finn emerge from the pit lap with three soft compound tyres and one medium tyre. Rules state the tyres fitted to a car must be of one homogonous compound. "There are two things we should do," Rob Smedley explained to Sky Sports after the race. "The first is apologise to Valtteri because obviously we absolutely ruined his race as he was there with Sebastian [Vettel] and [Romain] Grosjean before that happened. "Secondly, what we shouldn't do is blame individuals. We need to go away as a group of people and look at what happened." Bottas was understandably bemused by the situation, though confessed the car's lack of pace at Spa meant the mistake wasn't as costly as it might have been. "For sure that cost us a lot. Looking at the times in the end, without that penalty we might have been fifth or something as I was at the front of that pack," Bottas reasoned. "But our pace was not enough to be top three, which was our aim, so it was not our day." According to Smedley, graining on the front tyres in the opening stint was the cause of the teams sub-par performance in Belgium, leaving Bottas and Felipe Massa to play a rearguard action. "That's why we were passed so easily and fell back into the clutches of the sixth, seventh, eighth positions, or whatever it was. "When we pitted the pace was all right. I guess what we would have done differently is slightly different preparation for the front tyres on that first stint. "That's what we need to address. We need to go away and understand what it is with our car that sometimes the front tyres don't work." 31 GPWEEK.com // 31 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BELGIUM PARTNERS: A tyred tale for Williams