Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Mercedes expect no grid penalty for Bottas

2019 Mexican Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas should avoid a grid penalty for today’s Mexican Grand Prix, Mercedes have said.

Repairs are continuing to Bottas’s W10 on Sunday morning following his heavy crash in Q3 yesterday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The team believe they should be able to complete the work without changing any parts which might incur a grid penalty.

Bottas qualified sixth on the grid for today’s race. He said his second of two impacts in the crash was particularly severe.

“[On the] last run in in quali three, just in the last corner I went a bit deep, got a bit more understeer mid-corner. So I went a bit wider than I wanted.

“Then everything was still OK but on traction obviously being a bit too wide, there’s dirt here, some pick-up on the front-left and then just lost the traction and hit the wall. And it really took me.

“So I was following along the wall and obviously at the end there was the TecPro barrier which was a bit nasty, actually, how it was at the end started like a wall.”

Team principal Toto Wolff said yesterday evening “we haven’t seen any damage to the gearbox as of now, but you never know when it’s leaking at a later stage.” Bottas would have been given a five-place penalty if his gearbox was changed.

“The car is pretty damaged,” Wolff added. “But we are 90 percent confident that we can fix it without any penalties. It wasn’t an unusual angle of impact so probably where he got away with that.”

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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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7 comments on “Mercedes expect no grid penalty for Bottas”

  1. wow, that corner was totally gone. Surprising engine, gearbox and chassis all survived.

  2. Hell of a shunt, glad He’s OK. Testament to modern F1 safety that He can even drive today.

    1. He sounded quite heavy after shunt maybe altitude meant he had some breathing issues.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        27th October 2019, 17:27

        i think it is likely to be impact related for breathing like that. Or simply shock. gradually coming to a stop when you scrape against a wall would be more normal. What happened to Bottas because of that poorly positioned barrier brought him to a sudden halt. I think that would have really shocked him.

        1. @thegianthogweed
          Its more like he left the transmit button pushed in because he was slightly shocked. Im pretty sure you would hear that kind of breathing normaly from any F1 racer if they just held the button in all the time.

  3. Looked like he was going to slide and come to a slow stop, and then that dent on the barrier made a mess.

    A little bit scary too see the onboard. His thoughts when he saw the TecPro coming must have been untranslatable.

  4. Speaking generally, I don’t really understand why this doesn’t result in a penalty. The car is basically in parc ferme at the start of qualifying with teams unable to do anything more significant that wing angle changes to the front and tire pressures. They had to rebuild his car, which is true pretty much any time someone crashes in qualifying. I understand the parts pool thing, what I’m saying is that they have to do a lot more work on the car that would usually not be allowed at all once qualifying begins. Do they go through and recheck all the suspension settings after the rebuild? Do they take label all the aero parts to make sure they are exactly the same?

    Not to mention, if you blow it during qualifying, you typically screw up runs for at least a few competitors. After some of the scandals and shenanigans that have happened as a result of this is the past, why does F1 still allow it? In IMSA, and Indycar, and a few other series, if you blow it in qualifying and cause the session to be stopped or otherwise impede other drivers in their qualifying attempts, you automatically lose your two fastest times. It may not bump you down to the bottom of the grid, which is good, but it also means a price has to be paid for interfering with competitors’ runs.

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