Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Bottas grabs Russia win after double penalty for Hamilton

2020 Russian Grand Prix summary

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Valtteri Bottas scored his second victory in the Russian Grand Prix after team mate Lewis Hamilton served two penalties during the race.

Hamilton was handed two five-second time penalties after performing practice starts outside of the designated areas before the race began. He had to remain stationary for an extra 10 seconds when he made his single pit stop, dropping him out of contention for victory.

Bottas, who started third and immediately passed Max Verstappen when the lights went out, therefore collected his second win of the year and his second at the Sochi Autodrom. Verstappen collected second place, as Hamilton was unable to draw within range of the Red Bull driver after his pit stop.

The start of the race was disrupted by two first-lap crashes which claimed Carlos Sainz Jnr and Lance Stroll. The McLaren driver ran wide at turn two, and hit the barrier as he rejoined the circuit. Stroll was knocked sideways by Charles Leclerc at the exit of turn four and spun into a barrier.

The other Racing Point of Sergio Perez took fourth place, comfortably clear of Daniel Ricciardo. The Renault driver was handed a five-second time penalty for running wide at turn two while Esteban Ocon let him past. Ocon came in seventh behind Leclerc after repelling a last-lap attack from Daniil Kvyat.

Pierre Gasly lost time by making an extra pit stop during a short-lived Virtual Safety Car period while the marshals replaced damaged barriers at turn two. He scrapped past Alexander Albon and Lando Norris to take ninth place. The final point went to Albon, who collected the same five-second time penalty as Ricciardo.

Albon was the final driver on the lead lap. Antonio Giovinazzi led the rest in 11th, followed by Kevin Mganussen and Sebastian Vettel, who struggled with tyre trouble on his way to 13th place. Norris slipped to 15th at the flag behind Raikkonen.

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2020 Russian Grand Prix reaction

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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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102 comments on “Bottas grabs Russia win after double penalty for Hamilton”

  1. Leclerc and Verstappen, stars of the weekend.
    Albon, Grosjean – strugglers.

    Hamilton, Bottas; both messed up (Sunday and Saturday respectively). That they still come away with 40 out of 43 points is the biggest testament to the Mercedes car!!!

    1. Joke of the weekend: carlos sainz? (should be for that rookie crap at the start)

    2. Leclerc certainly made his own luck there, punting Stroll off wasn’t he? I can’t really give him a star for that though. Verstappen agree, well done, but doesn’t help him much. Perez was good all weekend too, and Kvyat maybe a bit lucky on lap one, but very solid all weekend too.

    3. sumedh, isn’t that somewhat spoilt by the fact that Leclerc managed to crash into Stroll on the opening lap of the race? Looking back at it, you have to put the blame for that collision onto Leclerc – he ultimately understeered into the back of Stroll – and he was arguably lucky not to break a steering arm or damage his front suspension in that clash. I’m somewhat surprised that the stewards didn’t take a look at Leclerc’s move for punting Stroll into the wall.

      It’s true that Leclerc did manage to make up a reasonable amount of ground in the race, but I do wonder whether that was perhaps a reflection of the advantage of qualifying in 11th and thus getting a tyre strategy advantage, combined with several drivers ahead of him dropping back (Albon stating behind him with his grid penalty, Sainz crashing at the start and Norris being tangled up in that etc.).

      Equally, did Verstappen actually do anything that spectacular in the race itself? Considering that he’s driving what is the 2nd fastest car on the grid, he had no threat from behind and really just kind of held station once Hamilton’s penalty confirmed that he’d get that place. If nothing goes wrong, then he’s guaranteed a podium finish at least – what exactly did he do that was that much above what you would expect him to achieve?

      I would agree that Albon was very poor this weekend – no real pace and, throughout this weekend, there were some analysing his onboards and noting that he was taking some very odd lines through some of the corners that really seemed to be hurting his lap times.

      If I were to go for the bigger surprises in the race, I would suggest that Giovinazzi and Magnussen were the two bigger surprises – Giovinazzi wasn’t that far off sneaking into the top 10 and Magnussen was also not that far behind either. Kvyat did reasonably well too, even if he did get bogged down behind Ocon in the latter part of the race.

      1. Equally, did Verstappen actually do anything that spectacular in the race itself?

        No, he didn’t. He started second and was slightly fortunate to finish there. Without Hamilton’s penalty, I’m sure he finishes P3 after qualifying P2. He also made a bad mistake at turn two on the opening lap.

        I’m at a loss as to how he was voted DOTD. Well actually I’m not – his fans vote for him every race, even if he goes out on the first lap.

        1. Isn’t that what fans usually do?

          I know a lot of F1 fans are fans of F1 and not so much of 1 driver in particular. I’m am like that as well. But a lot of people nowadays are fans of a specific driver, which skews these votes.

          For me, I think Leclerc is the rightful DOTD. He got more out of his car today than he theoretically should have been able to.

        2. @scbriml
          “Equally, did Verstappen actually do anything that spectacular in the race itself?“
          Given that he finished second in a car that was the fifth best this weekend, yes he did.

      2. Equally, did Verstappen actually do anything that spectacular in the race itself?

        its clear you are not a VER fan. But he did great.. he delivered and finished between the two fastest cars for a couple of seasons. I understand the lewis fans are disappointed but his time penaltys came as a result of a very stupid mistake.
        He made those mistakes ( and again the team did not supported him there).

        1. While true that Max mainly just had to hold station today, the end result was still that they split the Mercedes, and this after they struggled out of the gate on Friday and really only got things to gel literally for Max’s last run in Q3.

          So perhaps because of the earlier apparent struggles RBR were having, and how much of a threat Renault, Mac, and RP looked, I think Max did extremely well along with his team to eek out those hard earned points, even if the bulk of them were earned prior to the race and thanks in large part to the team and how they work together.

          1. @robbie Verstappen made a “Bottas” start from P2 and he lost the race by botching that start. Just like Bottas lost a few P2’s to Verstappen due to a bad start from P2. Of course when Bottas does it he’s a poor driver not fit to be in that Mercedes, but when Verstappen does it he did a great job

            ps it’s cute how you still believe the sandbagging from Verstappen. Gullible, but cute.

        2. Verstappen fluffed his start though. If Bottas does that people are all over him for being a poor #2 driver. Yet when Verstappen does it, he’s great for just driving behind the “fastest car”?

          Verstappen could have won this race if he hadn’t botched his start. Those 2 tenths that his car is slower on race pace doesn’t make that much of a difference that Bottas would have been able to make it past.

          1. @f1oclown
            Verstappen fluffed his start though.
            Yeah, just like everybody starting on the dirty side (and just like Lewis did last year).
            And the fact that Lewis, in a car that should be over a second per lap faster than the RB (which is Newey’s second worst car ever, and currently the fifth or even sixth best car on the grid) failed to overtake Max just highlights the superiority of Max over Lewis 😂😂

        3. Actually the team admitted they told Hamilton he could try practise starts.

          Verstappen did an OK job, nothing spectacular, poor start and mistake on the first lap but otherwise a reasonable effort. Qualifying lap was very good though, helped by a sleeping Bottas.

  2. Hard to cheer for a guy after that radio message tbh. I get that getting critiqued is rough, but did that result really warrant that message? If that’s the way you expect to challenge Lewis, boy have I got news for you.

    Poor race all around, but Russia always is, at least the shenanigans somewhat made it interesting. Shame Lewis couldn’t mount more of a challenge to Max, would’ve been a fun fight.

    1. +1 indeed, had it been on merit sure he could say it and im sure noone would have an issue but this wasnt on merit by a long shot, just shows bottas is deluded.

    2. @aiii
      Bottas had a flawless race today and he might have won the race even without Hamilton’s penalty with those lap times after Hamilton pitted. We’ll never know whether Bottas would’ve won the race without Hamilton’s penalty, but Bottas can certainly be proud of his performance today.

      1. He might have, but he didn’t. Factually he hasn’t won a race over Hamilton on merit all season. When he does, then maybe he can make a message like this. This race wasn’t that.

    3. I can still cheer for him. There is no way we can understand the tremendous pressures he has been under to perform not only from his own mechanics/friends/family and himself plus dealing with the constant deriding of his talents EVERYWHERE including the presenters is no help. I am happy he won and hope this rejuvenates him.

    4. With all the nonsense about Bottas being horrible, a disaster, useless etc that I have seen on this site, and on social media going around, I can hardly blame the guy for making that dig @aiii.

      Sure, he is no Hamilton, nor is he a Verstappen or even a Rosberg it seems. But lets not forget he is up against a guy like Hamilton in the other car. Just compare where Bottas is vs. Hamilton and where all of Max’ teammates are. Or indeed Schumachers teammates. Or most of Alonso’s teammates apart from Hamilton and Senna’s teammates apart maybe from Prost. That he cannot seriously put Hamilton under pressure is probably as much because of the enormous talent, skill and experience of Lewis as it is of the small lack of ultimate speed, being not quite as good at managing these tyres and lack of experience and self confidence of Bottas up against one of the best ever.

      1. Agreed. Hamilton is the best driver at the moment and he has mastered tyre management with the current tyres. I think it’s a bit too much to ask Bottas to consistently beat Hamilton before he can be happy about his race performance in a race that he won.

      2. Well said @bascb, I do think it’s easy to think others might be doing better than Bottas, but there isn’t a whole lot of solid evidence of that (Verstappen probably excluded, but that’s not happening). Yeah, that message seemed designed for a race where Hamilton wasn’t defaulting, bit tonally off, but Bottas did what he needed to do and got the win.

      3. @bascb – as Ver and Schumi were/are even further ahead of their team mates, maybe that proves they were/are better than Ham and not that Bottas is doing well?

        1. @marlrg, until we device a good way of actually measuring exactly how “good” a driver is (I would add to that at a certain moment in time) vs another driver, I guess we cannot be sure of that one. And no, the metrics Codemasters (did they get their laughable rating from the even worse one Liberty came up with for “fastest driver”) use, are not that ;-)

          Personally I think that Lewis IS currently a bit better than Verstappen and possibly better than Schumacher in some aspects, and let’s not forget that after the first championship Schumacher only had to deal with a teammate who was allowed to beat him at Mercedes with Rosberg, that also does have some effect on statistics.

          1. Sorry, that was supposed to be @malrg.

          2. @basc – A little confused by your second paragraph, but I think you are saying exactly what I am saying. We have no way of ever determining who is/was the best ever. Championship wins = he who won the most championships, not he is the greatest as this is objective, records are set in a relative to the immediate competition over that period and many factors influence the outcome, actually the driver, be it Lewis, Michael, Max or any other is a relatively small performance factor. But yes some are just that little bit better. Personally taking in context of their relative situations, I actually believe Michael relative to the competition at the time was better than Lewis and Max is better than Lewis right now, but again that is objective and right or wrong it would be very very close.
            It is a little difference in other sports where for example one can say he jumped the furthest or the highest, there is no context here, just a simple fact.
            This is the joy of F1. it is not simply about the driver, it is about Race Team, Engineers, Technology and Driver.

    5. He still needs Hamilton to retire or decide to stay at home for two races (and not get beaten by Verstappen) to even be in contention for the championship, maybe the radio message was premature.

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        27th September 2020, 15:31

        @mjhoward what did he say?

    6. +1, agree, not an attitude that is going to win him fans

  3. Given how Mercedes pulled Hamilton into the pits when he wanted to stay out, I’m not sure the 10 second penalty made that much difference in the end. He’d have been right behind Max, maybe, but still nowhere near Bottas. His only chance was doing something different (exceptional) on those softs at the start. Mercedes virtual race management neutralized that.

    1. Yes… Or they could have gone ultra aggressive and put Hamilton on Mediums. If that was ever in their options for strategy. I do wonder if someone could have been bold enough to try a one stop with the softest compounds and to make it work.

    2. If he would have stayed out longer he would have lost even more to his teammate Bottas. Lewis was slowing down quite a bit and didnt have tyre life left.

      1. Exactly. Hamilton said two more laps on the radio and I believe they kept him out two laps after that.

      2. If so, I stand corrected. However on the extra 2 he demanded, he set fastest times, right? He was still questioning the decision after, so I’d wait to see how that’s debriefed. Putting him on hard tyres killed any chance of a race win or even second. As @krichelle says, they had to be more aggressive than that. Third was pretty much guaranteed whatever.

        1. @david-br he did an exceptional time and went 1.5-2 seconds further, then immediately lost .7-1 second after that.

          However, he went Hammer Time. Had he raced under normal circumstances, it is probable that the life of the tires would have been extended by several laps and still would have finished third.

          1. @neiana OK thanks, so he killed the tyres with that 2 lap burst. So I guess his complaint was that he could have extended the life on the softs like you said. In the end, he’d have needed something exceptional to happen as well, like a timely SC, to win the race or even get 2nd. Third was actually OK in the end.

  4. My boy Bottas getting a deserved win there. Clutch. He got past Verstappen at the start. If he did not, Mercedes would not have won this race. However, as soon as we could get a race due to different strategies, it gets ruined.

    1. There sold be an asterisk as big as a pineapple next to Bottas’s win. Without the FIA screwing Hamilton Bottas would have come in second.

      1. There should be an asterisk as big as a pineapple next to Bottas’s win. (Keith, when will you add an edit function you your site? It can’t be that difficult.)

    2. @krichelle I know right. People seem to suddenly just gloss over the fact that Verstappen botched his start, but Bottas did win from P3 against a car that was ahead of him and only marginally slower on race pace.

      1. “I know right. People seem to suddenly just gloss over the fact that Verstappen botched his start”
        Yeah, Verstappen botched his start….just like everyone on the dirty side….
        But since we’re not glossing over stuff; shall we discuss how Lewis fluffed q2? Shall we discuss how Lewis fluffed his practice starts? Shall we discuss how Lewis (and Checo, Daniel, Esteban and Lando) failed to stay in front of Max his Red Bull, given the pace advantage they had? Shall we discuss how Bottas failed to open a 50 second gap in a car that is more than a second per lap faster?
        The people in the paddock do btw 😂😂

        1. Hahahaha this weekend in the comment’s section has been the best ever. On a serious note, Sainz already remarked that the dirty side was worrying him, and it did prove vital for the race. I actually thought Verstappen got away well in comparison to Hamilton but Bottas just got a better one.

          On a joking side, how about let’s talk about how Verstappen finished way ahead of Albon? The Red Bull is a midfield car without Verstappen, and Verstappen spent all the work designing the Honda Power Unit for all Honda powered cars. He also entirely designed the Red Bull Chassis and all of its parts. He is the one changing all four tyres at once during the pitstops.

          Is the reason why Verstappen requires a spec 2 marketing facility for him to be hired in F1 2020 My Team? Cause it actually makes sense LOL

    3. Bottas finally getting a win again, but not even on merit. And then this radio broadcast. He just eliminated himself by showing his (mental) weakness. A pity because he is a likeable fellow and a lot out there could do with a little less HAM wins, just to keep the sport a bit attractive

  5. *tinfoil hat on* I see how it is now. Merc know they have the Constructors in the bag, so now they “Rosberg” it and let Bottas win the Drivers. Then Toto steps down and they announce their exit. So the record books will show Mercedes and Schumacher as the greatest ;-)
    “tinfoil hat removed*

    1. If it happens, it’ll go down as the greatest F** up in the history of the sport 😂😂😍

  6. Really not certain how Bottas can ‘hit back’ at his critics for that win given if it wasn’t for Hamilton’s penalty I’m really not sure he’d have won at all. Like sure you take the chances that are given to you but this was by no means a great victory on his part?

    1. To be fair, he did pass Max at the start, which was crucial to the win.

    2. @rocketpanda Races aren’t won in hindsight. Bottas did not make the mistakes Hamilton made, so it’s useless debating if he won in case Hamilton didn’t get any time penalties.

      Racing is more than being the fastest around the track. You need to be as fast as you can within the rules and regulations. Tons of victories have been taken away due to rules infringements.

      1. You know, this is totally true. But I just can’t see Bottas actually managing to fight Hamilton equally and win. Without the penalty, I dunno I just can’t imagine he’d have cruised up to the back of car 44 and passed him – his best chance was at the start and the bee blew it for him. Is that him? Is it the car? Is it the team not giving him any tricks and tools to fight? Who knows.

        I really would love to see Bottas succeed and actually comprehensively silence his ‘doubters and critics’, as in take the fight directly to Hamilton and beat him conclusively with no penalties or issues. And that’s not to say he hasn’t – because he has – but a good 95% of the time Hamilton trounces him. I want the guy to succeed, I’d say I’m a fan of his, but even I’m not certain he can anymore.

        Like, this year and next are basically going to be a battle between Hamilton and Bottas for the title. Bottas has just 1 car to beat to win not only races but the title. And so far he’s just not doing it. And I feel for the guy as being as good as you can be but never quite managing to be enough must be emotionally destructive, but he’s running out of time to prove it if he can do it.

        1. he will have had such a tyre life advantage and given his pace looked as good as hamilton this weekend, it is likely that it will have have been the same situation as the USA last year and Bottas will have had a reletively easy pass near the end due to the better strategy. Hamilton basically gave himself the worse strategy by not getting a good lap done earlier in Q2. And he didn’t help himself by the penalties. But even without them, i think his tyre disadvantage given how similar their pace was will have been enough for bottas to beat him on merit.

  7. LOL and it was all part of the Ferrari Master Plan.

  8. From a racing perspective, it’s a pity the double-penalty took away from the different strategies playing out. The big question would have been how long Ham could have kept going on the soft tyres whilst keeping Bottas behind. You could see after taking the penalty, Ham went into tyre management mode rather than pushing, which I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have done had he been fighting for the win.

    Merc clearly need to do something about ensuring the drivers know the parts of the race director’s notes that could affect their race. The penalty was a very stupid one to get, and something Ham and the team should have been aware of (for example, the team let him make the same mistake twice, and no one from the team was aware enough to stop him doing it again).

    Bottas’ radio message at the end seemed a OTT. If he wants people to stop criticising him, he needs to put up a consistent challenge to Ham and beat him in more than just the odd race. He’s being criticised because he keeps falling short, when in the best car. I’m sure some of the criticism he gets is unfair and probably abusive, but replying to messages on social media indicates it’s getting to him. Probably a very good thing for him he won this race or he might have started to collapse a bit.

    1. I would argue it was more his team’s fault (as in his sectio than Hamilton’s since his team signed off on it. It is their job to check for that type of thing.

      1. @yaru At least the second time. Not that 5 seconds less would have changed much.

        1. @david-br
          as Graham put it before…
          “Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the pit exit lights. Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.”

          This Race Director BS is really on a power trip of some sorts and giving either inadequate/incomplete or conflicting briefings/messages at best… Charlie looking down on this guy and probably give some thunderstorms next race around in the racedirectors roof. and hope that roof leaks… those ballards that people need to drive around placed really stupidly and anyone goes over the curbs gets much harder to navigate… if they dont want people cutting chicane, make the walls closer! and be done with the safety nonesense, he doest give crap about it to be improved, all he is doing is complicating matters and giving conflicting instructions in his briefings

          1. he is artificially creating this “power trip” show of his to entertain himself…

          2. Maybe, but why then risk giving an excuse to be penalized by doing something you know no other drivers have done and which you have to clear with your team that it’s OK? I don’t trust Masi or FIA’s impartiality, no. Whatever the reasons, their decisions have been difficult to comprehend at times. But there’s no reason for Hamilton to risk this. And frankly it did look dangerous doing starts at a point where drivers were emerging from the pits at high speed, looking slightly blinded to the spot where Hamilton had parked too.

    2. Radio confirmed that Mercedes told HAM to launch down the pitlane after he ask them if was OK.

  9. Why wasn’t the 10 second penalty given at the end of the race for hamilton?

    1. He served it during his pitstop.

    2. Because if you do a pit stop you must add that penalty time to that pit stop. If you don’t have any pit stops left then it will be added to time

      1. Ok… didn’t know that you MUST do it at the put stop if you have one coming up, thanks @qeki @sparkyamg @yaru

        Yet another rule that rubs me the wrong way

    3. If you’re given a five second penalty and still need to make a pit stop, you HAVE to take it at that pit stop. Hamilton was issued two five second penalties shortly after the race began and therefore HAD to take the combines 10s at the pit-stop.

  10. Fix that darn turn 2 corner, god darn it… Not only it’s badly designed, the bollard situation is also wrong.

    1. @fer-no65 It’s the most exciting part of the track. What else needs fixing then? Eau Rouge-Raidillon? Suzuka Esses? Turn 8 at Istanbul Park?

      1. @huhhii are you really going to compare that turn with suzuka, or eau rouge?


        It’s not the most exciting part of the track and it’s a constant problem in every race, be it F1 or F2. That little kink on exit makes the corner even tighter for no reason other than to avoid the wall. If that wasn’t there, overtakes on the outside would be possible.

        1. @fer-no65 The fact that drivers have troubles there only means it’s challenging. It doesn’t necessarily require fixing if some drivers get it wrong. Having another 90-degree corner there won’t be fun to anyone.

          1. @huhhii I agree with that sentiment, but the alternative route around the bollard is as stupid as it gets. As @scbriml says, Grosjean showed why it’s so badly designed as a escape route. If that can’t be fixed, the corner needs to be reshaped.

      2. The corner is fine, but the designated ‘escape route’ only works for drivers that go straight on, not those that clip the apex of the left turn and get their left wheels over the sausage kerb.

        It would be like expecting drivers at Monza to take the escape route at the end of the start/finish straight (that Vettel demolished this year), after they’ve turned right, then can’t make the left turn. Bumping over a couple of sausage kerbs should be punishment enough (losing time, unsettling the car and risking damage).

        I’m struggling to see how drivers like Ricciardo and Grosjean were expected to take the escape route. As Grosjean showed, it’s just not possible at racing speed. Maybe two or three sausage kerbs at right-angles to the normal kerb would be sufficient punishment for drivers that don’t make the second right-hander as opposed to first right-hander?

    2. There’s nothing wrong with the corner, but Grosjean showed why it was a badly designed penalty and ruling.

      It ruling and layout of the barriers was obviously designed to catch drivers going straight on and not making the corner at all. Watch when Ricciardo got his penalty for his left tyres going over the sausage kerb – there’s no way he can slow enough to turn left 90 degrees in order to go round the polystyrene barriers. Grosjean tried and demolished them. The whole layout of the corner and the barriers didn’t make any sense for drivers like Ricciardo and Grosjean who only just cut the corner as opposed to going straight on.

  11. Because he served it on his pitstop. As in they had to wait for 10 seconds before they started working on his car.

    His position after that stop was his true position.

  12. It is a bit weird how Hamilton seems to know the rules and instructions so poorly. The practice start mistake was mostly Mercedes’ fault (as he did ask about that on the radio), but there was also the pit light incident at Italy and today he was questioning why the time penalty was applied during the pit stop. I think that his lack of knowledge about the rules is his biggest weakness at the moment.

    1. Pit light incident in Italy was more his team fault for not telling him the lane was closed. Even then, the team error was more understandable since other teams had more time to warn their driver since their drivers were much more behind.

      PRF wrote an article on why the Mercedes failing to notify Hamilton for that was understandable….but not for Alpha Romeo and Giovinazzi (they had way more time).

      1. @yaru Yes, I agree that Mercedes contributed to that mistake as well. But Hamilton could’ve spotted the light himself also. In fact, he didn’t even seem to know where the light was located. I don’t think that every driver would’ve pitted even if their team didn’t alarm them in time.

        1. @hotbottoms mind you, was it not the case that quite a few of those watching proceedings were also confused about what exactly those lights were meant to mean in Monza?

          It looks like the lighting panel standard which covered that particular panel (FIA Standard 3504-2019) was only introduced by the FIA in 2019, with a second edition issued in March this year.

          Before that, I believe the lighting panels were only required to show the following symbols:
          Slow flashing yellow (for single waved yellow)
          Fast flashing Yellow (for double waved yellow)
          Stationary red/yellow striped
          Flashing blue
          Flashing green
          Flashing white
          Flashing red
          White SC logo with black background and flashing yellow border

          It suggests that, up until pretty recently, the lighting panels only showed the most common types of standard racing flags, plus a specific symbol for the safety car being deployed. It suggests that it was only in 2019 that the FIA then changed the lighting panel specifications to include additional symbols, including the “pit lane closed”, which was the red cross on a black background that was shown in Monza.

          If that is the case, then it is perhaps more understandable why he might not have spotted it – because it looks like it was a fairly recent change.

          Speaking of the pit lane, there was something that Verstappen did in Russia that I was wondering about. As he drove down the pit lane to go to the grid, Gasly was released from his garage and joined the fast lane in the pits – Verstappen then promptly went to the right hand side and overtook Gasly using the apron in front of the garages, before cutting back into the fast lane in front of Gasly ( ).

          I find that a bit odd – I thought that drivers were not meant to use the inner lane in the pits to pass another car, even when just going from the garage to take up their grid slot.

          1. @anon sorry but part of being a driver means knowing the regulations. Doesn’t matter how often they’ve changed the lights or how recent the change was. These guys have a job and part of their job is knowing what the lights mean.

            There’s no need to search for mitigating conditions.

          2. Indeed overtaking in the pitlane is already a no-no. Going off the fast lane is just insane.

            Vettel got a penalty for shoving Hamilton off the fastlane while they were (legally) side-by-side in the pitlane both driving in the fastlane.

        2. Re Monza – Hamilton certainly wasn’t the only driver who didn’t see the pit lane closed panels.

      2. @yaru

        There are two signs on track showing whether the lane is closed. Lewis was unaware of these signs. His fault.

    2. I think he queried the reason for taking it at the pit-stop and not at the end because a single 10s penalty to be taken during your pit-stop isn’t actually a thing (10s can be added as a single penalty at the end of a race), but it was two separate 5s penalities and that may not have been clear to him in the car.

    3. Yeah, I guess another myth about HAM is starting to go down in flames: that he knows the rules as his own pockets and certain maneouvers that were on the limit in the past were made consciously and he knew he won’t be punished.

      1. Yeah, it’s clear now – he’s just an average driver.

      2. Verstappen doesn’t know the rules either though:

        Although he gets away with it. Driving off the fastlane overtaking another car in the pitlane? That would be a drive-through penalty normally.

        1. Well, given that he didn’t get a penalty , it seems he knows the rules better than you🤣🤣🤣
          (Which, given your obvious lack of knowledge regarding this sport, is no surprise at all.)
          But please, enlighten us and come with the rule Verstappen breaks?

  13. That track re-entry point was badly done, however Sainz went through there way too fast. With Renault looking so strong Sainz threw away a potentially strong result, you won’t win 3rd that way

    1. I believe (though am willing to hear Sainz tell us differently) Sainz saw Verstappen expertly bee-lining that re-entry route @broke84, and think he’d do do same, only not quite pulling it off.

      The fact Verstappen was able to do that, at that pace was at the same time impressive from him, and quite dangerous from a view of designing such a diversion, which you’d think should ensure drivers go slow enough that they are forced to take their time to get on track, so they can properly check it is safe to do so.

      1. I need to watch a replay, but I believe Verstappen had a different line towards the re-entry point. Sainz took a real sharp line towards the bollards. They can be taken pretty much flat out depending on the angle of entry. Sainz did not have that angle.

        1. Indeed the angles were very different. But Sainz always should have slowed down to make the line..

  14. It appears the RB junior program is not working.

  15. This is the only way Bottas can mute his critics. There will always be those who say he is “Barrichello n.2.” There is some truth in that. In most of the days he is slower than Ham but if Bot wants to win he must repeat weekends like this race after race.

    He has the talent but he still needs to improve. Yes he had that 0p from GB but he has improved and I really hope that new races which are coming up will make championship standings even more close.

  16. I was happy for Albon two weeks ago, and was hopefully that the 3rd place would’ve had a positive impact on him for the remainder of the season, but again, the same feeling as with few other events this season. I hope him to do well, but difficult keep the hope alive when every other or every third event, whatever, he struggles both in qualifying and the race. If he’d finish towards the front more consistently, there’d be less risk for him to get in trouble on the opening laps of the races.

    1. Odd to see one RB at the back often.

  17. Hamilton only has himself to blame.

    No-one else was practicing race starts in such a dangerous position.

    Like Monza, everyone else but Hamilton and Giovinazzi saw the light indicating the pitlane was closed but Hamilton went into the pitlane anyway.

    Everyone else can follow the rules it seems.

    Verstappen the star of the day to be 7 seconds off the all conquering Mercedes and maintain a solid 10 or so second margin over Hamilton. That RBR was not hooked up at all this weekend.

    I was gobsmacked when Hamilton was on the radio asking why he couldn’t serve his 10 second penalty after the race.

    I know that rule. You either serve the penalty on the next pitstop or the time gets added after the race if you don’t pit again.

    He’s a soon to be 7 time champion and didn’t know the rule. I’m amazed by that.

    Seriously, he should spend more time studying the rules.

    1. Gosh, I’m surprised to see you criticising Hamilton. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

      Never mind, this will be forgotten when he takes WDC #7.

      1. Both can be true. Hamilton behavior was stupid and unnecessary, that’s why he got a penalty. He still managed to get 15 points. And he will probably be the world champions because he is right now the best Mercedes driver

    2. How do you feel about this one?:

      Verstappen overtaking Gasly in the pitlane. Going off the fastlane to do so. That should have been a drive-through penalty right?

      1. That should have been a drive-through penalty right?
        Yep, because drive through penalties are awarded in qualifying, right?
        Lol, vintage f1oclown.

  18. I admire Hamilton, but think he spat the dummy after his (dubious) penalties and Merc pitstop call.
    His team radio with Bono where he wasn’t interested in target lap times set the tone.
    He made no effort to pull away from Perez or catch Verstappen, claiming he was conserving tyres.
    His final lap was revealing: his sector one was purple, about 0.4sec faster than any of his previous laps and much faster than everone else.
    This shows he had both pace and tyre life left unused at the chequered flag.
    This was Lewis putting 2 fingers up to the FIA… If you ruin my race with petty and unfair penalties, I won’t play ballad give you the show that I can.

    1. *play ball and give you the show I can*

  19. Did anyone notice Hamilton go take off his gloves and grab a hat from the Race Winners table directly after the race? Bottas just stood there behind Hamilton at his table waiting for him to get out of the way or realize that he did not finish first and all of the hats on the table had a “77” on them. Funny.

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