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Bottas penalised for pitlane spin

NEWS STORY
25/06/2021

Valtteri Bottas has been handed a 3-place grid penalty following today's incident in which he spun his Mercedes in the pitlane.

When the Finn pulled away from his designated pit stop position, he lost control of his car when he turned into the fast lane. He oversteered, spun and came to a stop across the fast lane near the McLaren pits.

During the subsequent hearing Bottas stated that in the past Mercedes have been losing time in the pit departure, so they tried something new, which was to leave in second gear. As a result, the wheel spin was much higher and the result unexpected. Therefore he didn’t manage to control the car properly into the fast lane.

According ot the stewards, this has to be considered as potentially dangerous driving, especially as personnel were around in the pit lane.

In addition to the three-place grid drop, Bottas was given two penatly points on his licence.

In the moments after the incident, McLaren's team manager, Paul James voiced his concerns in a radio message to Michael Masi.

"Michael, that's absolutely ridiculous," he said. "They could have taken out one of the guys or the pit wall."

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Bottas said: "Yeah, I spun. We tried something different coming out of the box and there were some variables compared to what I normally do and that's why I spun."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by West York, 26/06/2021 21:56

"'potential dangerous driving' is as absurb as a charge as is 'attempted manslaughter'.
There was no intention to drive dangerously, they were trying someting different, which they have no way of testing (due to testing bans) in any other environment. It resulted in unexpected consequences as a result of unexpected excessive wheel spin the the hard tyres on the painted section. He managed to control the after effects by not hitting anyone or colliding with infrastructure.

To comment on how fast he was going from watching one carmera angle as an accusation is also baseless. unless you have the telemetry to show he was exceeding the pit lane speed limit?

The chance of a serious accident every time a driver sets out is also obvious, but not all errors get penalised, e.g. Hamliton's brake magic incident could have had very serious cosequences in Azerbaijan, the potential of a multiple car incident as he cut across the pack down into the escape road at the restart, but no 'potential dangerous driving' charges were brought then."

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2. Posted by kenji, 26/06/2021 1:03

"A three place grid drop is a slap on the wrist and meaningless. Watching this from a front on perspective shows just how fast he was going when he lost it. The chances of a serious accident were obvious. Just another SNAFU on behalf of MB lately! That was worth a back of the grid penalty."

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3. Posted by jcr, 25/06/2021 23:55

"Immediately after practice Bottas said live on Sky that they were experimenting.
So it was an easy one for the stewards. If he just said he got it wrong, he may have just got his hand slapped and a fine for a bad release. Bad management by Merc under pressure."

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4. Posted by Kkiirmki, 25/06/2021 22:31

"Mercedes are loosing the plot. This is what real competition does, the small mistakes are starting to add up."

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