Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Mugello, 2020

Drivers who crashed at restart have only themselves to blame – Bottas

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Valtteri Bottas rejected any responsibility for the crash which occured during the rolling restart at the Tuscan Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was leading a queue of cars at the restart of the race when several drivers collided behind him. Carlos Sainz Jnr, Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi and Nicholas Latifi all retired as a result of damage from the crash.

However Bottas insisted he controlled the restart correctly and was not to blame.

“We’re allowed to race from the control line, which has been there for a while I think,” he said. “It’s just the decision this year has been that [on] the Safety Car they are putting the lights off quite late so you can only build the gap pretty late on.

“Of course when you’re at the lead you try to maximise your chances. I’m not at all to blame for that. Everyone can look everything they want for it.

“I was doing consistent speed until I went. Yes, I went late, but we start racing from the control line, not before that.

“So the guys behind who crashed because of that, they can look in the mirror, there’s no point whining about it.”

Bottas believes the restarts are being triggered later than in previous races to give the drivers behind the leader a greater opportunity to attack.

“I think the FIA or FOM, I don’t know who decides with the Safety Cars but they’re trying to make the show better by turning the lights later so you can’t build a gap early and then go like a corner before the main straight. So maybe it’s time to think if that’s right and safe to do so.”

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2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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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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27 comments on “Drivers who crashed at restart have only themselves to blame – Bottas”

  1. I’m glad he said this, because even Toto on the radio at the first red flag had an accusing tone to his “what happened there?” question.

    I did notice this season that the graphics and the commentators are loudly proclaiming SC ending, but the lights on the car itself turn off really late compared to previous years. I think Bottas may have a point there.

    1. I agree, I am happy to see Bottas giving a firm view, and good that he mentions this apparent change of approach from the side fo the FIA @eurobrun. Didn’t Hamilton also mention the lights going out late as an issue, right after the red flag had been called?

  2. To be honost, if one driver is to blame, it’s Russell. He made a large gap, tried to time the restart, but had to brake hard. He could still avoid others in front, but he set the pace for everyone behind him. They couldn’t brake in time.

    The other driver that has some blame is Latifi. He also made a gap and tried to time the restart. However, Latifi reacted on the car in front, Russell didn’t, he went on his own.

    Russell deserves a penalty for this, what he did was incredibly dangerous.

    1. Dont mean to disregard your analysis but it’s the fia who deserve a penalty🙃

    2. Russel made a gap, yet he was driving slow. Not sure though, if that gap was legal. But first to accelerate were Magnussen and Latifi. Largely Magnussen to blame. But Latifi as well.
      youtube.com/watch?v=z7cAi6nBnDU

  3. Weaving and warming his tyres on the start finish straight immediately before the line at the restart is not a good look from Bottas, given what happened. It was taken too far.

    1. János (@meandthewanderlust)
      13th September 2020, 23:34

      It’s his right to do what he did.

      The other drivers have to wait, which some of them didn’t.

  4. All they had to do was see how it was handled in the preceding F2 race. And communicate between drivers and pitwall.

  5. Maybe, reverting to allowing overtaking from SC1 rather than the timing line would be better, especially for tracks where the timing line is far away from the last corner, like on this circuit, but also in Baku, Interlagos (F1 mightn’t go back there for a while, though), Imola, and to some extent Portimao, Melbourne, Bahrain, Monaco, Montreal, but most notably, the first four I brought up.

    1. I preferred the previous arrangement personally. SC lights off at the beginning of Sector 3, no overtaking until the Start and Finish straight.

      But also I think once the SC has left the track, i.e. entered the pit lane with all four tyres and wheels off the circuit, the leader should be allowed to floor it, it isn’t ‘necessary’ to fall more than five car lengths behind it

    2. Baku, Interlagos and Bahrain, yes.
      But gor Montreal, Monaco and Melbourne, the pit lane is before the last corner, so this would never happen when the leader can floor it out of the last corner without concerns of catching the SC.

  6. I think he’s right, in a way, because what he did was legal. Maybe a bit irresponsable, but legal…

    Still, people behind want to get quickly on the throttle, maybe even ahead of the guy in front, to get a chance to overtake. And that produces a difficult game of “will he, won’t he accelerate”.

    They stopped doing the restarts as soon as the first Safety Car line for safety reasons, didn’t they? it used to be that you were allowed to overtake long before the start/finish straight. Well, maybe it’d be better to go back on that… I’m not sure it’s too clever to have cars lining up wide before the start/finish line all accelerating together, almost side by side. Better to start earlier, even before the last corner, so they reach the main striaght one behind the other.

  7. I think they need to have a SC line and you can pass once you go past that. It shouldn’t be the start/finish line. If the SC line is no more than 50m after the final turn, it’ll force drivers to go for it from the final turn rather than slowly cruising down the straight.

    When I saw Bottas going slowly and weaving, I kind of expected a crash behind. It wasn’t his fault though – he followed the rules and did what he had to in order to maintain the lead.

    1. actually, there is a SC line. it’s not the start/finish line

  8. There is a reason why a rolling restart where the cars only go when they get the flag at start/finish requires at least the first cars to line up in pairs. This crazy weaving around would make it hard to tell whether the race was on and made it hard to see up front. Cars spread out the width of the track weaving is itself dangerous.

  9. Max Verstappen did precisely this in one of the restarts at last year’s Brazillian GP. No one crashed, no one complained. I think Bottas is completely right, he did what was in his legal power to maintain the lead, if the others crashed they were napping.

    As another comparison, look at the restart for Monza 2000, Schumacher did the same and Button was caught out, then the blame was also on the following car then.

  10. What Bottas did was fine. It’s not like he brought the entire field to an almost standstill like in Baku 2017.

  11. “So the guys behind who crashed because of that, they can look in the mirror, there’s no point whining about it.”

    I disagree with Bottas. They need to change the procedure so that it is clear when they should go, just like when a VSC ends. We have all the tech on the cars for the virtual car so they should use it.

    I don’t agree with Grosjean getting so animated and blaming the front of the pack, but neither do I think this shouldn’t be raised further and the drivers need to speak up for this to be the case.

  12. The ‘go’ line should always be at/in/before the final corner so it’s obvious to be full-throttle on the s/f straight. Of course the back end of the field will have that issue – they can only see the car infront and everything becomes exaggerated. The restart system was more than 50% to blame there.

    Thinking about it, now they have the ‘virtual’ safety car system, why not come out of safety car via that? That way all cars through, say, sector 3 are at VSC deltas, then drop the VSC when the leader is in the final corner? It’d come up on everyone’s dash so nobody would be ‘second guessing’ like happened here.

  13. The drivers sit very low in the car they absolutely have no idea what is going on in front, they can only react to the actions of the cars directly in front of them.

  14. Themself and Bottas.

  15. And Bottas only has himself to blame for another pathetic showing

    1. He qualified second and finished second. Seems pretty solid. Definitely his best of the season aside from the first race.

      His rival is a six time WC afterall that is (rightfully due to to form and credentials) the favored driver of the team.

  16. The only time Bottas can show any kind of backbone is in the interviews or team radio with the odd token swear word. Otherwise he’s absolutely useless and should have shown some humility and just not commented on so many drivers and teams losing out on points because of his pathetic restart tactic.

    He really threw the kitchen sink at this race and still came up short. This race will have crushed him for good I think. Get George in that Mercedes ASAP.

    1. George Russel is the reason four driver’s crashed

  17. Bottas is spot on, he did nothing wrong. If he’d gone any earlier Hamilton would have breezed past in his slipstream. As it was Hamilton was alongside and half wheeling Bottas, but couldn’t gain any advantage from it.

    Have a rule where no car can come even a fraction alongside the one in front and it all becomes much more controlled

Comments are closed.