Bottas calls pitlane spin penalty "quite harsh" after McLaren complaint

Valtteri Bottas called his Formula 1 grid penalty for spinning in the pitlane "quite harsh" after McLaren's complaint, saying that "everyone is always trying to screw you over".

Bottas calls pitlane spin penalty "quite harsh" after McLaren complaint

Bottas spun his car while exiting Mercedes' pit box with 20 minutes remaining in second practice for the Styrian Grand Prix on Friday, briefly blocking the fast lane.

The nearby McLaren mechanics were quick to help turn Bottas' car around and allow him to head out on track, but the McLaren team manager swiftly lodged a complaint with FIA race director Michael Masi, calling the incident "ridiculous".

The stewards handed Bottas a three-place grid penalty for dangerous driving, with the Finn explaining that he had tried pulling away in second gear in a bid to reduce wheelspin.

Bottas led Mercedes' efforts in qualifying on Saturday, finishing second in Q3 ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but will drop to fifth on the grid because of his penalty.

Asked about the stewards' decision, Bottas said he did not expect to receive such a harsh penalty, but noted the competitive edge that rivals look to get in such situations.

"My personal view, it's quite harsh," Bottas said.

"I never imagined after that that there would be a penalty. But of course, other teams when there's equal opportunity, they complain that it's dangerous so we would get penalised.

"That's how it goes. Everyone is always trying to screw you over in this sport.

"For sure, it can be a dangerous situation if there are many people in the pitlane."

McLaren pit crew members attempt to assist Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, in the pit lane

McLaren pit crew members attempt to assist Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, in the pit lane

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

The attempt at pulling away in second gear came as part of Mercedes' push to try and reduce wheelspin exiting the pits after identifying it as a contributing factor in the time lost to Max Verstappen in France last Sunday.

Bottas admitted that the spin "definitely caught me out" and that he "never imagined it would happen in the pitlane", explaining that it was harder to keep control when in second gear.

"We decided to try something different, launch with the second gear," Bottas said.

"Sometimes with a higher gear you have lower revs, and maybe you can manage to wheelspin but the initial part is not so aggressive. But then once I got the wheelspin, it really caught me out.

"I don't know, perhaps the line on the pitlane was still slightly damp from the drizzle. I just couldn't hold it.

"Obviously quite a different behaviour for second gear than first gear. So that happened."

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo mystified by lack of F1 Styrian GP qualifying pace

Previous article

Ricciardo mystified by lack of F1 Styrian GP qualifying pace

Next article

Hamilton: Jumping queue before last Styrian GP qualifying lap backfired

Hamilton: Jumping queue before last Styrian GP qualifying lap backfired
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021