Bottas set for Melbourne gearbox change penalty after qualifying crash

Valtteri Bottas is set to drop a further five places down the Australian Grand Prix grid after Mercedes confirmed his qualifying crash has damaged his Formula 1 car's gearbox

Bottas set for Melbourne gearbox change penalty after qualifying crash

The Finn made an error at Turn 1 on his first run in Q3, bouncing across the kerbs and losing control as he rejoined the track before swiping the barriers on the right hand side of the track.

The damage to the car was extensive and, although investigations by Mercedes after qualifying confirmed the chassis did not need replacing, his gearbox can no longer be used so a new one will need to be fitted.

That will mean Bottas moving down from his 10th place on the provisional grid to start 15th.

Speaking about his accident, Bottas explained the grass at Turn 1, which was damp after a morning downpour, had been a factor in the accident.

"I was carrying a lot of speed and I went wider than ideal, and definitely it was a bit damp where I was," he said.

"I got sudden wheelspin and I couldn't catch the rear any more or lift any more. It was my mistake.

"I just pushed too hard in that corner, trying to gain some time. That cost me Q3 and for us as a team a lot of extra work for tomorrow."

With a 27G impact recorded, Bottas was taken to the medical centre for a mandatory check but was given the all clear.

He said there should be no lingering effects from the incidents.

"It was quite a big hit and I'm glad everything's fine," he said. "There's no pain at the moment.

"In the moment it hurts a bit but I guess you earn that when you make a mistake like that.

"The car is not fine but hopefully it will be OK.

"Tomorrow, if we can get everything back together - obviously, [I'm] starting a bit far [back] to be really fighting for the win, but there's no point giving up on Saturday. Everything is still possible.

"We've seen we have a good car in qualifying as Lewis [Hamilton, who will start from pole] showed but we have a very good car for the race and I think anything's possible.

"Plenty of things can happen in the race. I had a race last season when I was one lap down and still ended up second, so you never know."

shares
comments
Ricciardo: Any top driver could get pole with Mercedes advantage

Previous article

Ricciardo: Any top driver could get pole with Mercedes advantage

Next article

Verstappen suggests qualifying mistake cost him front row start spot

Verstappen suggests qualifying mistake cost him front row start spot
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Author Jonathan Noble
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021