Bottas reprimanded for FP3 incident that caused Vandoorne F1 crash

Mercedes driver Valterri Bottas has avoided a penalty after he inadvertently put Stoffel Vandoorne off the road in final practice for Formula 1's Belgian Grand Prix

Bottas reprimanded for FP3 incident that caused Vandoorne F1 crash

Vandoorne came across a slow Bottas at the top of the hill after Eau Rouge, and opted to pass on the left just as the Mercedes driver moved in that direction.

The McLaren driver put all four wheels on the grass before spinning over to the right, where he clipped the barrier.

Bottas had just been passed by Vandoorne's team-mate Fernando Alonso, and the two McLaren drivers were practising slipstreaming each other before qualifying.

The Finn was called by the stewards to answer a charge that "car 77 was driven in a manner that was potentially dangerous to the driver of Car 2 between Turns 4 and 5", but escaped with a reprimand.

In their decision, the stewards noted that Bottas "conceded the incident was his fault and that he had not seen car 2 approaching, despite checking his mirrors and having heard a warning message from his team.

"He believed that car 2 was further behind than it actually was. The stewards determined the incident was not intentional or reckless and for this reason imposed the penalty referred to above."

The reprimand is the first of the season for Bottas, who will start Sunday's race from the back of the grid due to engine change penalties.

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