Valtteri Bottas’ Monaco GP race ended after Mercedes pit stop horror show

Valtteri Bottas crashed out of the Monaco Grand Prix after a routine pit stop went badly wrong near the halfway point of Sunday's race.

The Mercedes star got off to a strong start and was pushing Max Vertsappen at the front of the field when he pulled in for a pit stop on lap 33.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton had already pitted for hard-compound tyres on lap 32 when he entered the pit lane for his first planned stop of the race, which proved disastrous.

Bottas' right front tyre could not be removed by the pit crew, who could not take out the worn right-front tyre despite several attempts to unscrew the wheel nut with the wheel gun.

As a result, the Finn saw his hopes of glory come crashing to a halt in Monaco as he had no choice but to retire from the race.

According to Sky Sports F1's pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz, Mercedes have confirmed that a faulty wheel nut had ended Bottas' Grand Prix.

Their wheel gun was unable to remove the offending nut to change the tyre, meaning his Mercedes car was unfixable.

"It was a cross-threaded wheel nut," Kravitz explained.

"The wheel gun machined onto the axle."

Bottas' pit-stop nightmare was the latest shock in what has been a dramatic Monaco Grand Prix, with pole-sitter Charles Leclerc also ruled out of the race before he even took his place on the grid.

Leclerc secured pole position on Saturday despite suffering a crash at the end of qualifying and had high hopes of claiming victory at his home Grand Prix, but his hopes were ended when he experienced an issue with his left drive shaft on the way to the grid and was retired before the warm-up lap.

"I've never finished a race here. It's a difficult one to take," he said.

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"I also feel for the team to be honest.

"The mechanics did such a hard job yesterday to check everything, then this happens. It's a shame for everyone."

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