Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2017

Bottas will take five-place grid penalty at British Grand Prix

2017 British Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas will take a five-place penalty on the grid for the British Grand Prix, Mercedes have confirmed.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Haas, Silverstone, 2017
British GP practice in pictures
It is the team’s second such penalty in as many races. Bottas’s gearbox suffered similar damage to that which meant Lewis Hamilton’s gearbox had to be changed during last week’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes had hoped they would be able to keep Bottas’s gearbox working until the end of its current six-race cycle, but have now conceded the unit will have to be replaced.

The penalty means Bottas will not be able to start Sunday’s race from higher than sixth on the grid unless other drivers incur similar penalties. It is the first penalty he has received so far in 2017, having previously been cleared of causing collisions in Spain and Azerbaijan.

Bottas said the team had started the weekend really well” prior to the news of his penalty.

“In the first session, the balance was not too far away, so a positive start. There is still work to do to get the car more drive-able and to be able to trust it more in the high-speed corners.”

“But overall I think it was a good start for the weekend. We just need to work as normal, try and make improvements for tomorrow.”

2017 British Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 60 comments on “Bottas will take five-place grid penalty at British Grand Prix”

    1. Mercedes reliability will cost them

    2. This was the 2nd cycle of gearboxes. Did they change the design and made a mistake xompared the the 1st cycle?

    3. Maybe HAM will let BOT take pole on Saturday seeing how he wanted BOT’s help in Baku…

      1. That would mean Bottas starts 6th instead of 7th. They might as well take it here because it seems like they are flying this weekend..

      2. Hamilton’s main rival now is still Vettel in the WDC, no chance he would risk slowing down and losing pole to Vettel, even if that is the logical thing for Mercedes to do as a team.

      3. Unlikely. Even if they have the pace advantage over Red Bull and Ferrari that he can comfortably drop a few tenths Hamilton will want the track record and the pole statistic.

        Besides 7th gives him the clean side of the grid rather than the dirty side he’d end up on from 6th.

      4. How would you do this without risking losing both places to Ferrari? Seems like a silly thing to try.

      5. And do so without losing 2nd on the grid as well – I’d say it’s almost easier to get pole than make sure you place lower than 1st but otherwise as high as possible (and no, sitting out of Q3 for BOt wouldn’t be fair).

        Besides, as soon as it became clear BOT was fighting for position in Baku, HAM stopped really asking for help

    4. VET hit BOT too?
      Race ban! Race ban! Race!

    5. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      14th July 2017, 18:56

      Mercedes wants to make sure driver 44 wins this one, so his fans forget he just ignored them all.

      1. Especially those sick kids in hospital who all the other drivers went to see, oh wait……..

      2. His fans will be at the race and he’ll make time for them. His fans follow him on social media, and he makes time for them.

        Missing one event to promote F1 by the rights holders who are playing a game of chicken with the most popular race on the calendar doesn’t undo all the effort Hamilton makes for his. Ultimately it wasn’t fair of them to place that event between a back to back race week anyway.

        1. how can it be unfair if all are attending?
          oh wait…

          1. Oh man. Yawn fest!

          2. Is the oh wait you realising it’s unfair on all the drivers

      3. Sounds a bit like that, I’m surprised that it is the case, as it shows they are really confident on their pace and they are effectively trying not to have DNF’s from Austria onwards.

      4. @omarr-pepper So who’s the reptillian in Mercedes?

    6. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      14th July 2017, 19:15

      Another time Hamilton has his teammate neutered

        1. joe pineapples
          15th July 2017, 8:58

          And Baku. What a lemon.

        2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          15th July 2017, 9:30

          What about it?

    7. Vettel getting all the luck again…..

      1. Marian Gri (@)
        14th July 2017, 20:15

        How come, enlighten us??!

        1. What he means is Vettel has benefited from the faster Mercedes lesser reliability.

          I would consider their inability to get the tires working in a few races as good luck for Vettel too.

          Only the end of the season will tell who ready had the best car.

          1. Marian Gri (@)
            15th July 2017, 6:01

            Nope… VET wasn’t lucky because Mercedes didn’t get the tyres working! That’s just Mercedes building a poor car. Shall I say… too… that Mercedes was lucky to win because Ferrari built a weaker engine 4 years in a row?? No. We cannot say X got lucky because Y didn’t do a better job. That was simply the tech capability of Y (Mercedes) in the first races of the season. In my opinion, we can add “lucky” when a 3rd party is involved and changes the obvious outcome, like VET was lucky to win the WDC in 2012 because GRO took out ALO at Spa, Bottas was lucky to finish 2nd in Baku because of the SC periods, HAM was lucky to have a walk in the park in Canada because VER destroyed VET front wing etc etc.

            1. @corrado-dub You started off so well and then went off so badly with the below; that is just racing, not luck. Crashes happen, and it’s always pointless to attire one crash in the advantage of a driver and then don’t do the ‘same’ for the other,…

              we can add “lucky” when a 3rd party is involved and changes the obvious outcome, like VET was lucky to win the WDC in 2012 because GRO took out ALO at Spa, Bottas was lucky to finish 2nd in Baku because of the SC periods, HAM was lucky to have a walk in the park in Canada because VER destroyed VET front wing etc etc.

      2. Marian Gri (@)
        14th July 2017, 20:20

        Cause Mercedes is a poor car in 2017?? So, Mercedes was lucky to win 3 years in a row cause the opposition built poor cars??! Things don’t go that way. Anyway, I’m afraid Mercedes and their boys will get even luckier… if you insist… when grid penalties will start to knock on Ferraris door!

        1. Jonathan Davies
          15th July 2017, 4:17

          What!!!! are you.. trying to say!… i real…ly can’t tell… mercedes”” are so lucky?

      3. I am a big Hamilton fan, I also like Seb and to say that he is “getting all the luck again” is a bit of an insult to one of the best drivers on the grid, don’t forget that Lewis has lucked in a few times to.

    8. a little bit of hope for Max on the front row :P

      1. Yes I hope so too, Ive been placing him in the prediction for the last 5 races, out of 4 he was replaced by Riccardo lol,

        sigh points lost.

        For this race I am almost tempted to put Riccardo somewhere near the podium , but I didn’t do it.

    9. Marian Gri (@)
      14th July 2017, 20:44

      This smells fishy. After 2 unhappy GPs (Baku and RBR Ring), this is the best moment and way to show HAM the real back-up goes to him and that the team won’t allow BOT to upset him too much, the way he did to ALO back in 2007. So, all they guarantee is that they’ll get BOT out of his way at his home GP… and they did it!

      1. German driver, German te… … wait a minute.

        Maybe since they have the same gearbox, it’s possible that they just both suffered the same failure?

      2. I don’ know which sides conspiracy nuts are worse. If people aren’t saying they’re sabotaging Hamilton to stop him winning it’s them sabotaging the other driver to favour him. Or maybe it’s just that they have the same gearbox design as each other and Bottas’ lasted a single race longer due to some variation in the manufacture but neither are built to last the required amount.

      3. Oh, but I wanted to think it was Vettel’s fault Hamilton’s tranny failed. Do i have to let this new fact damage my anger at Vettel?

        Wait I’ve tightened my tin foil hat – I see it! Toto wants Vettel to drive for next year, German driver… so he is sabotaging Bottas and Hamilton, hoping they will either pull a Fernando and switch to a weaker team or fight so much he can fire one of them!

        It’s so devilishly brillaint!

        1. Yeah he needs them both to quit so he’s engineering a scenario where Mercedes still win the constructors championship but the drivers come 2nd and 3rd. Then next year they’ll get Vettel and Rosberg can come back from selling ice cream for an all German cast!

    10. I guess Merc decided to teach Bottas a lesson for upstaging the home favourite on the very first day. Hamilton probably texted him not to get any big ideas after the win in Austria.

      1. bottas was on the quicker tyres,and lewis was quicker than bottas until he made a mistake in sector 3 on the SS.
        also bottas tried the medium tyres in q1 which means they already knew he’d have a gearbox penalty before q2.
        and in baku lewis had a win taken from him because someone didnt fit his headrest in properly.
        then that was followed by a gearbox penalty,so were merc favouring bottas in baku and austria?

      2. @loup-garou

        I am guessing from your comment you are new to watching F1? If you are, welcome! Friday times are not something that count towards the weekend, Friday is used to test the way the car handles with differing tyres and fuel-loads, etc.

        Hamilton has been very complimentary to Valteri, only today he has said he considered he would be a rival for the title right from the start.

        1. I think you need to look up the definition of sarcasm.

          1. @telvee32

            Mmm….Perhaps you’re right. I had initially assumed that post was written by someone genuinely unsure of the structure and procedures of a race weekend. On re-reading I though it might be an attempt at humour, but I perhaps you are right. It’s supposed to be sort of ‘biting’ I think?

        2. You may have been joking but it sure won’t be read that way by most F1 fans, unfortunately I can see no hint humour in your comment so I guess it went over my head too.

        3. It did go over my head! Oh well, let’s hope for a great race on Sunday and I am sure Valteri will still have a chance even with the grid penalty, passing should be possible at Silverstone.

        4. GtisBetter (@)
          15th July 2017, 7:55

          To be fair, it’s hard to tell these days with all the conspiracy people in forums everywhere.

    11. mark jackson
      15th July 2017, 0:55

      A higher power doesn’t want Bottas to win. Somebody screwing with Bottas car. Bottas needs his old mechanics back. British based team wants a British driver to win. It’s because he’s Finnish.

    12. Please bring back Mclaren vs Ferrari ..The big boys.

      The silver arrows are one hit wonders . What legacy does the silver arrow have? Except from an engine advantage. Nobodies

      1. Three constructors titles= one hit wonder to you?

      2. What legacy does the silver arrow have?

        Your being sarcastic right?

      3. “The silver arrows are one hit wonders . What legacy does the silver arrow have? Except from an engine advantage. Nobodies”

        Is that a rhetorical question or a bad attempt at being funny?

      4. What legacy does the silver arrow have?

        Tyrrell? dominating 1954&1955? Non-open-wheeled f1 car? Brawn GP?

        Besides, what legacy does this “McLaren” Project 4 thingie have? Ron Dennis isn’t even there anymore and the cars don’t even folow any of the legacy ones in terms of naming, etc! Wait, how is McLaren British and based in Woking? Wasn’t McLaren a kiwi?

        And Ferrari…naamloze vennootschap? Really? Did the Dutch REALLY want a replacement for Spyker so badly?

    13. Davidmcgrory
      15th July 2017, 6:42

      It’s a fix to make sure he can’t beat Lewis

    14. This makes me really excited to see how qualifying pans out and will be a measure of how good or otherwise Bottas is under pressure.

      To give himself any chance of a top 2 finish, he really needs to qualify on pole – something that Hamilton didn’t do last race and it cost him a podium.

      If Bottas can qualify on pole (albeit start 6th), it will mark him as being right up there with the likes of Hamilton and Vettel. Q3 is going to be really intense.

    15. What’s quite interesting is that, if Bottas hadn’t had a DNF in Spain I think it was he would be almost level on points with Hamilton. Considering both have are now subject to a gearbox penalty, it’s quite an impressive first season for Bottas at Merc thus far.

    16. PENALISE THE TEAM NOT THE DRIVER
      These grid position penalties are enforced so the “richer teams” cant just slam in new PU, gearboxes etc. In theory and in pratice it is flawed because we are penalising the driver and not the team who is responsible for technical reliability. I say dont give the driver a grid penalty but instead convert the grid penalty into points penalty deducted from the teams Constructors Points. At the end of the day reduced constructor points equals dollars (price Money) and this will ensure that the blase’ attitude to technical failures and half baked, insincere apologies to drivers will come to an very abrupt end.
      If drivers were responsible for reliability they would have been engineers.

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