F1 team's gaffe causes awkward moment mid-race

Updated: 
Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas during day one of testing ahead of the 2017 Formula One season at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona.

It's easy to accidentally refer to someone by someone else's name. Let's be honest, most of us will probably have called a teacher 'Mum' or 'Dad' at some point in our school careers.

When you do something similar on television, though, it's really embarrassing, especially on a show being watched by millions and when you've been working with the person in question for a good few months.

But that's exactly the fate that befell one Mercedes F1 engineer during the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, when he referred to driver Valtteri Bottas as 'Nico', apparently mixing him up with last year's world champion, Nico Rosberg, who used to drive for the German team.

On lap 47, the engineer radioed Mercedes new boy Bottas and said the fateful words: "We still have potential for P4 [fourth position] here, Nico...."

As soon as the words left his mouth, you could almost hear him cringing, but he bravely corrected himself and continued: "Er, Valtteri, so just keep pushing."

The radio transmission stopped before we could hear Bottas' response, but we suspect the simple exchange left everyone a little red-faced.

Bottas eventually finished the race in sixth, behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who won, and Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, although whether this was anything to do with his uninspiring radio chatter is unknown.