Bottas sanctioned after his spin in the pit lane

The Mercedes driver will have to move back 3 places on the grid on Sunday at the Red Bull Ring. 

 

Published on 25/06/2021 à 18:26

Julien BILLIOTTE

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Bottas sanctioned after his spin in the pit lane

The Finn gave a thrill in the pit lane / © DPPI

This is a costly evasion. Valtteri Bottas was sanctioned by the stewards of the Styrian Grand Prix (June 25-27) for spinning during Free Practice 2 this Friday in Austria. The Finn will have to move back 3 places on the grid on Sunday. He also receives 2 penalty points on his FIA license.  

It must be said that the spin took place in a place as unusual as it was potentially dangerous since Bottas made a mistake in the pit lane when he had just left his box. The Finn managed to avoid any contact with the wall, and especially with the team mechanics McLaren very close, who even helped him get back in the right direction of walking to set off again. 

His slip did not fail to immediately cause Paul James, team manager of the Woking team (United Kingdom), to react. “ He could have mowed down our guys », he choked to race director Michael Masi. 

« I spun because we tried something different coming out of my box, commented Bottas just before appearing before the commissioners of the Austrian meeting who had summoned him at 16:20 p.m. local time. This changed my handling of wheelspin and I found myself sideways ».

The Finn thought he would escape punishment, arguing that he had committed a “ classic error ". " I think they just want to know what happened “, he concluded.

Not only did the stewards understand what happened and that is precisely why they sanctioned Bottas and Mercedes

In their official report, the commissioners explained that Bottas had tried to leave his box in 2nd gear engaged, in order to gain time on the restart, one of his weak points. 

The maneuver generated much more pronounced wheel spin than usual and sent the Finn sideways. The stewards considered this to be a “ dangerous driving behavior ». 

The timing is cruel for Mercedes because la FIA has just sent a technical directive to strengthen pit-stop safety

An update that some interpreted as an attempt to slow down Red Bull in an area where the Austrian team excels, and which could have been triggered by a request for clarification sent by the seven-time world champions a few weeks ago. 

This is pretty bad… 

Julien BILLIOTTE

AUTOhebdo deputy editor-in-chief. The feather dipped in gall.

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