Bottas not sure whether to cry or laugh after French Grand Prix

2018 F1 season

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Bottas slipped to dead last, following turn one contact with Vettel, recovering only to seventh after a strong qualifying.

The Finn seemed downbeat after the race, talking to the press while God Save The Queen played in the background for Hamilton’s win.

He said that the French Grand Prix, especially a late, slow pit stop that further damaged his recovered “summarised his whole season” so far.

On the lap one contact, he said “Turn one I was on the outside, approached the corner ahead of Sebastian and of course we were hit from behind, I guessed it was him and we got a puncture, damage from the wheel spinning around which of course really compromised the race.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said Bottas called the car ‘shocking’ after the impact, detailing extensive damage – “The damage was quite extensive because it was on the floor, the tyre seal – Valtteri’s comments afterwards were that it was ‘shocking’ to drive. That’s why it ruined his race.

“To be honest, with Sebastian – Sebastian misjudged the situation and took himself out of the race, lost valuable points so it bites them both. Whether 5 seconds is sufficient or not, I don’t want to judge here. Because obviously – I guess where the stewards came from, they were both last in the race at that point.”

Looking for positives, Bottas said “I think I had the fastest lap of the race, which is quite something given the car was quite damaged.

“I don’t know should I cry or laugh about this race? Maybe just laugh.”

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2018 F1 season

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9 comments on “Bottas not sure whether to cry or laugh after French Grand Prix”

  1. “Whether 5 seconds is sufficient or not, I don’t want to judge here.”

    But you should. Someone crashing into another ruining him entire race and that’s fine – just 5 seconds even without stop&go. Yet someone else going a bit slower than others under safety car and here you go – 5 seconds + 2 points. Years going but stewarding keep going dawnward. They just do whatever they want relying on personal preferences.

    1. @regs, given the admission from one of the stewards during the 2017 season that the stewards would take into account the popularity of the driver and his relative position in the WDC when awarding a penalty, and that they would sometimes soften the penalty as a result of that, it is perhaps not surprising that we’ve seen a trend of drivers in top teams getting softer penalties compared to those levied on midfield and backmarker drivers who commit the same penalty.

      After all, when you look at what happened yesterday with Raikkonen during qualifying, you suspect that, had Magnussen and Raikkonen been in reverse positions, Magnussen would have been given a grid penalty if he’d blocked Kimi. That said, Vettel did also get 2 penalty points, so the severity of his penalty is the same as that handed out to Sirotkin – mind you, it does sound rather strange for Sirotkin to get a penalty for “driving too slowly behind the safety car” when the whole point of a safety car is that it is meant to slow the drivers down in the first place.

      1. I remember when Vettel did that. He drove very slowly behind the safety car to build a gap so that the team could double stack them for a pit stop without loss of time (Webber was driving ahead of him). Vettel only got a warning. A few races later he did exactly the same thing again and then he did get a penalty (think it was a drive through penalty) and he was waving like the stewards were crazy for penalizing him.

        Not sure why Sirotkin doesn’t get the luxury of a warning first, but still. I thought the penalty should be for not staying within the required maximum number of car lengths (IIRC 10) of the car ahead. That sounds more sensible as an offence rather than “driving too slow”.

    2. GtisBetter (@)
      24th June 2018, 19:48

      The question is do you let the outcome of something influence the penalty? I don’t think you should. Let’s say speeding in the pitlane has a 5 sec penalty. It doesn’t matter if you speed with 5 or 20 km/u. By the same logic, causing a collision is a 5 sec penalty (i think), regardless the outcome. The wrong action (collision) should be penalized and it should consistantly be the same.

      Whether 5 sec is fair for a collision is another matter, but once that is agree upon, you can’t give more for hitting a WDC contenter out of the race or clipping a front wing, cause both are the same. Just as pushing another driver off the track can be a a just a little of course, but can also make him spin and ruin his race.

  2. YellowSubmarine
    24th June 2018, 18:48

    Was Bottas guilty of showing too much respect to Lewis at the start though? Team orders? I thought they could have arrived at Turn One side by side, watching the start again.
    But Vettel gets away with it yet again, that’s as soft a penalty as you can get under the circumstances – thinking back to Baku last year and a couple other instances, including the FIA rather pathetically claiming they couldn’t punish him more last year because they didn’t want to influence the title race – it’s just not good enough from the FIA.

  3. The FIA penaltys is a joke regarding the topteams..

    If MAG had blocked RAI in the qualify or made that Vettel start collission in the race he had a raceban and 10 minutes stop and go..

  4. Nice to see MAG defending again…

  5. I don’t understand why Mercedes in general isn’t more upset about this. Vettel keeps on doing this about 2 or 3 times each season. Yet he just keeps getting away with it without a race ban or anything.

    The red mist is strong in that one.

    1. YellowSubmarine
      24th June 2018, 20:45

      Yeah, Toto is always very guarded when talking about a Vettel infraction against a Mercedes driver. He was very relaxed about the Baku incident last year.

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