Bottas is feeling the heat in Mercedes’ black overalls

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Mercedes Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas is feeling the heat and suspects his team’s new black overalls have something to do with it.

Mercedes changed their car and clothing livery this season from silver to black in support of the sport’s anti-racism campaign and to emphasise a team pledge to improve diversity.

Bottas told reporters after sweating through Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix that he had shed three kilos over the 66-lap race.

“This year, it’s been even hotter in the car,” said the Finn, who was heard on the team radio complaining to his engineer about how hot the overalls were.

“Obviously, we had to change the colour of the overalls. And it’s known that black colour takes more of the heat, especially when there’s direct sun,” added the 30-year-old.

Bottas finished third on Sunday and is now 43 points behind team mate, six-times world champion and race winner Lewis Hamilton, the sport’s only Black driver.

“I don’t know any numbers or facts, how much actually black versus white is in terms of temperature difference, but this year, it’s been really hot in the car,” the Finn said.

“And also there’s a new homologation this year for the overalls, so they are thicker, and the underwear is thicker, so I don’t know how much effect that has.”

Bottas felt white overalls would be cooler and expressed concern that the discomfort and weight loss could affect performance.

“I know that from all the drivers I’m one of the fittest, if not the fittest, so I can take it but it’s never comfortable and there’s always things that we can improve,” he said.

Mercedes’ strategy director James Vowles said after last month’s season-opener in Austria that the livery was not impacting performance.

“We can’t see any difference on our radiator temperatures or other temperatures of core systems within the car as the result of the paint colour externally,” he said.

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Arushi Sana is the Co-Founder of Santerra Living, a bio-pellet factory that makes a renewable form of eco-coal and Co-Founder of NYK Daily, a global news platform. She was awarded the Times Power Women of the Year 2022, Times Digital Entrepreneur of the Year 2023, Silicon India's Top 10 Women Owned Startups of Hyderabad 2023 and IHW Council Climate Health Influencer 2024. Arushi is also a speaker for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship at various forms like the World Bank, UN International Solar Alliance and Universities, and was also invited to the UN COP28 UAE Climate Conference. She is a Sustainability Consultant for organisations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and also works with brands on social media to help them carve a presence in that niche. She holds a Degree in Computer Science Engineering from VIT University and a Diploma in Marketing Analytics from IIM Nagpur. She has previously worked in Ernst & Young and Deloitte as a Forensic Data Analyst. Arushi is a writer, political researcher, a social worker, a farmer and a singer with an interest in languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her, and she aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform.

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