Start, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016

Bottas given penalty points for Hamilton crash

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas has been given two penalty points on his licence for his first-lap collision with Lewis Hamilton.

The Williams driver also had to serve a drive-through penalty during the race for his role in their clash at turn one.

Bottas, who now has a total of four penalty points, admitted his car went “sideways” before he collided with Hamilton but said he had been left little room.

“Well I was committed into turn one,” the Williams driver told Sky after the race, “and at the point I braked in the corner, I was turning into the corner then everyone seemed to go very, very tight inside and it was too late”.

“I was trying to brake as hard as I could and I was trying to keep the inside as far as I could. But I went a bit sideways and we hit. It’s a shame because I got a penalty and for sure he lost some places because of that.”

Hamilton said the collision left him with damage for the rest of the race and he was relieved to recover a points finish.

“Turn one was a little bit unfortunate but I’m just glad that I could keep going and I can keep racing,” he told Channel 4. “It wasn’t a particularly massively exciting race once I did get past some of those guys because I was racing with a damaged car.”

“But I’m just glad that I could get back up there and get some points.”

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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69 comments on “Bottas given penalty points for Hamilton crash”

  1. I think it’s too harsh.

    1. Definitely, and I’m convinced that it’s only because it’s one of the leading drivers. If this same accident had happened further back, nothing would have come of it.

    2. @eggry Why? @strontium Williams was shielded of penalties throughout the whole of the past couple seasons, it’s more than natural that they would get a penalty for effectively losing their shield. Lead drivers blah blah is no argument, he deserved it and we can only hope Ham is going to get the same penalty if he was to do the same. Ham was actually quite lucky Bottas didn’t puncture a tyre or wrecked the whole front wing, 2 2nd places is okay after 2 below par starts.

      1. Hamilton finished third as Kimi Raikkonen finished second yesterday…

    3. @eggry @peartree @strontium : I think he deserve more penalty points or perhaps 1 race banned ….. this is a wide track, avoiding collision is easy

    4. It was more less similar to Kimi-Bottas accident, and Kimi was totally out of the race.
      Politics above All..

    5. I do not understand this decision. Ricciardo literally was 1 foot behind him the whole time. There was nothing Bottas could have done to avoid this.

      1. sunny stivala
        4th April 2016, 19:41

        A friend watching with me said “when was it last that the stewards gave a penalty to a first corner accident? and does 44 have some God given right to claim his racing line back after running wide and leaving the door wide open, and with an overtaking car’s front wing level with his head?. anyhow after yesterday Bottas who was regarded as “one of us” seems to have now lost that status and all of a sudden has been dumped into the crashdonado brackets.

    6. Agreed. Too Harsh. Hamilton left the door open and then closed it. I am not blaming Hamilton either. Bottas definitely wears more blame here.

      However, this was a first corner incident. If this had been lap 5 and Bottas did that, I would say it might deserve a penalty. But it was the first corner. Bottas was also busy trying to defend from Ricciardo and everyone else coming into the corner. First corner dings should be seen in a different light to the rest of the race. It a special situation that isn’t seen anywhere else in the race. He lost his wing and was penalises enough for what was a close call, not a kamikaze incident.

    7. I think it was a legitimate gap, Hamilton should have left him room but he didnt see him. If it was anyone else but Hamilton it would have been left. Let them race.

  2. I thought the penalty was too harsh, drivers bumping into each other at the first corner is hardly uncommon and they’re almost always given as racing incidents.

  3. It was six of one and half a dozen of the other IMO.

  4. It was an avoidable accident.

    1. can you show me an unavoidable accident?

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        3rd April 2016, 22:07

        One caused by suspension or tyre failure

        1. This could go on and on as suspension failure is avoidable..build a stronger suspension. I know what you mean though.

          1. RaceProUK (@)
            4th April 2016, 23:37

            I say let’s skip all the what-ifs and go straight to the ludicrous: a meteorite strike! :P ;)

  5. Whether Hamilton was at fault or not, he would have been way better off giving Bottas space. He was already behind Rosberg, but he wasn’t going to stay behind Bottas all race.

    I wonder if he even saw him?

    1. He said he was in his blind spot. He was also trying hard not to touch Rosberg.

    2. Aye unable to see him from that angle. Bottas was a victim of his amazing start… Hamilton probably didnt even imagine him so close, once he saw Kimi drop.

  6. Yes Bottas was clearly at fault having made a good start and could not control his speed at the corner hence hitting a car ahead of him but this is a bit of an overkill as I think the drive through was appropriate.

  7. Looked pretty similar to Vettel-Senna at Brazil 2012 to me.

    1. @kingshark
      Not in the slightest. Senna tried to pass 3 cars in one go and was nowhere near Vettel when Vettel started turning into the corner.
      Bottas was already passed Hamilton’s rear wheel with his front wheel when they started turning in.

      According to the rules Hamilton should have given Bottas space. But there you go. No surprise to me with the stewards’ decisions in the past.

  8. For thos C who are saying it was a harsh penalty, here’s my questions….

    If that was Lewis who did that, would you all have said it was harsh?

    Cast your minds back to Sochi last year, who did you all blame for the Kimi Bottas incident?

    1. Kimi came from 4 car lengths back.
      That was a classic last second lunge. It’s not even close to the incident today.

      1. Well I guess you were watching a different race, because Bottas came from a similar distance, so much so he locked up his brakes.

        1. Bottas was almost along side at turn in. In Sochi Kimi rammed him in the back wheel on the apex. Invalid comparison, sorry.

          And as somebody who was saying it was a harsh penalty, I almost certainly would have the same view if it were the other way round.

    2. You can’t even remotely compare Kimi-Bottas incident to this one. In Sochi it was 90 degree corner just after long flat-out left hander with Kimi coming from a long way behind for a move which would always result in a collision. In Bahrain it was race start into tight hairpin with Lewis seemingly leaving quite a lot of space to the apex only to cut it off. Apples and oranges really.

      And I think about this situation exactly the same as with Ricciardo-Hamilton touch last year in Hungary. Slight misjudgement, mistake, racing incident, let’s move on and LET THEM RACE without silly penalties ruining competition.

      1. Valtteri Botcrash ?

    3. ColdFly F1 (@)
      4th April 2016, 7:44

      You should ask Hamilton himself if he though it was a harsh penalty, @Kgn11.
      To give you a hint, HAM said: “It was a racing incident, those kind of things happen.”

  9. Totally wrong penalty!

  10. I would have given him just the 2 points as a warning at most and no penalty in the race.

  11. Bottas was very contrite in his post race interview on NBC. The incident was his fault and he didn’t seek to argue otherwise.

  12. “everyone seemed to go very, very tight inside”

    It’s called the apex Valtteri, it’s the point that the racing line usually takes and that the driver in front has priority on.

    That was a shockingly clumsy move even for a first lap, first corner.

    1. Depends on whether the car in front is in front far enough.

      1. And the car in front was way ahead of him.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        3rd April 2016, 19:33

        Excellent point:-)

      3. sunny stivala
        4th April 2016, 21:25

        when the cars touched Bottas front wing was level with 44 head, looks and sounds like 44 has some God given right to claim his racing line back after taking the corner wide and leaving the door wide open and than leaves no space for whoever is claiming the space he leaves totally open.

        1. Go and watch the crash again that’s nothing like what happened.

    2. Completely tipical move by bottas, sadly.

  13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    3rd April 2016, 19:32

    I think Rosberg slowed down too much on the exit causing the incident – it’s a repeat of Australia pushing Hamilton back at the expense of Bottas in this case.

    1. Glad im not the only one who thought this.

  14. The crash was Bottas’s fault, but the penalty he is being given is way too harsh in my opinion. It should have just been a five second penalty.

    1. I think so too; the penalty points seem like overkill. It’s unfortunate that it cost Lewis several places and a shot at the win, but it’s just one of those things. Just a clumsy mistake.

  15. It wasn’t much more than a racing incident…

    When Bottas turned into the corner, the gap was wide enough, unfortunately Hamilton shut the door too far leaving nowhere for Bottas to go…

    I felt the drive through penalty was sufficient, giving him 2 penalty points as well is just harsh…

    1. I don’t seem to remember Hamilton getting 2 points for his similar collision with Ricardo last season in Hungary and then Hamilton was very much at fault…

      1. Hamilton did get penalty points for that collision in Hungary.

        I think it seems harsh to follow up with points after already applying an in-race penalty, but the main purpose of penalty points is to punish the persistent offenders, and more specifically, highlight potentially unsafe drivers.

        Bottas is unlikely to pick up a total of 12 points within the next 12 months so it’s not really an issue.

        1. Yep… I stand corrected, I missed the article indicating that one….

    2. i think the points are automatic if you are charged with a penalty.

  16. i think it was a racing accident, but if there has to be a guy to blame, it would be Bottas. He misjudged the situation.

  17. First lap racing incident. Lewis fault for not giving space… But since he couldnt see him.. Noones fault then.

    Bottas was well alongside him when Lewis turned in.

    Just a good first corner bash. No need for penalties and now penalty points…

    1. From what I saw, Bottas under-steered into Hamilton, which means he didn’t slow the car down enough to make a move down the inside work. Hamilton could have left more room (if he’d been able to see Bottas) but ultimately Bottas carries responsibility. I’m not necessarily saying that deserves a penalty though.

      1. The only person who could see Bottas was a certain NR. Look at the apex pictures because of the lights you can see NR face in the mirrors.

        Nasty stunt frankly – been there myself and it’s really annoying but legal regardless. Bottas deserved the penalty – way too hot and with two cars heading for the apex what did he expect to find when he got there? Empty space ? – he would have bar the neat hesitation at the apex by NR but there we are. I expect those on here will still scream next time LH brushes his wheels in a perfect overtake on the first corner. You have never seen him pull that number though.

        Bottas did not really need the two points on top but it’s automatic and frankly LH car was a wreck given this ridiculous focus on above body aero – the mediums in the middle probably did more harm than anything. Ridiculous strategy choice given the spread of the cars but there we are.

        Real shame KR could not give it some stick. That would have made something of the front end race.

        Another gifted win. 19 to go.

        1. I can just see NR getting a lot of those this year

        2. @drg lead cars choosing when to brake and accelerate is a fundamental part of defensive driving. They all do it. It allows you to push the other driver into an unfavourable situation with with regard to corner exit (where huge amounts of time are gained) and ensures that you can dictate track positions. Historically the situation has always been that the following car benefitted from the slipstream effect while the lead car benefitted from managing corner entry and exit. Thus ding-dong battles of old, which are now negated by drs: The fundamental tools of defensive driving have been removed because the following car is granted an effort free pass down the straight with artificial assistance.

          And I’m not sure how you think a driver is supposed to be responsible for what a driver two places behind him is up to. That’s some stretch, especially as you seem to imply Rosberg is so incompetent he can’t win on merit. Not a good enough driver to go faster than Lewis, but his enough to manufacture a collision with a car he’s not even driving? Impressive…

  18. It doesn’t matter at all. With Williams strategy I doubt that he would get a better position in the end.

  19. Unfortunately not applying the brake on the approach to a corner to stick it up the inside does not qualify as having a wheel alongside its qualifyied as not having control of your apex thus the penalty was valid. I would think the stewards know what they are talking about and have access to more data than any anti ham’s here :)

  20. Neil (@neilosjames)
    4th April 2016, 1:29

    Probably deserves it… nowhere near close enough to try that sort of move into a corner like that.

    Blame aside, Bottas tended to be very cautious into the first corners last season, so often watched his starts back and he lost ground in the braking zones. Maybe he’s decided on a different approach for 2016…

  21. Seen the incident again. Bottas was perhaps being a little optimistic, but if you look at the positioning of the cars at turn 1, you’ll see Ricciardo was bunched up right behind Bottas. So Bottas slowing down to prevent going wheel to wheel with Hamilton, being as he was on the inside line, would have caused a concertina effect behind.
    Also Hamilton himself said this was a racing incident and stuff happens on lap 1. Bottas shouldn’t have been penalised the way he has been.

  22. Rubbish. Shameful. Disgraceful for the sport

  23. I thought it was no more than a racing incident, when Bottas made his move there was space, then Hamilton came over without seeing him, they collided, endy story, stewarding overkill.

  24. When you hit other drivers: racing incident. When you hit Lewis, a racing incident can become a penalty

    1. Yea… Just like Nico vs Lewis… When Nico closes him off totally unfair, when Lewis does its race craft…

  25. It was a bit harsh – I though Lewis was held up and hung out to dry and had left a lot of space on the inside.
    Bottas had aimed for the gap (it was a pretty big gap) and even Ricciardo had spotted it and was intending to follow Bottas thru it.
    Lewis turned in – contact was made – racing incident – the gap was there and both Bottas and Ricciardo had way more momentum that Lewis who had been severely baulked.

    Actually made the start interesting – bits of car flying everywhere, the polesitter being put under real pressure but no, the FIA who keep saying that they want things to be “spiced up” throw a heavy penalty at Bottas. Yes there was fault (I think on all sides) but it was a racing incident and no more than that.

    If he’d pulled the move off and Ricciardo had gotten through as well everyone would have said it was brilliant racing – pretty sure Lewis would have mowed them both down pretty quickly and made it even more interesting but it seems that the FIA don’t actually want things “spiced up” at all.

  26. I thought the Bottas penalty was harsh, although I think it was Bottas’s fault I thought it was just a typical first corner incident and so didn’t deserve a penalty.

  27. If it was me i would have let the racing go on and put it as a racing incident. Bottas put his car in a gap really, I do not thing it was so sudden that we can claim it was a T-Bone banzai move, Lewis couldn’t see him and they hit. Starts are a little messy anyway so just let it as a racing incident

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