Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Bottas doubts he’ll be penalised for “normal mistake” after spinning in pits

2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas doubts the stewards will penalise him for his bizarre spin in the pit lane during second practice.

The Mercedes driver lost control of his car while he was leaving his pit box and came to a rest by the McLaren garage. His W12 was left broadside across the pit lane and several McLaren mechanics were needed to help him turn around.

“I spun,” Bottas explained. “We tried something different getting out from the box and there was some variable to what we normally do with the wheelspin and that’s why I spun.”

Bottas was summoned to see the stewards shortly after the conclusion of the session. However he said he does not expect anything to come of it.

“I would be surprised if there is,” he said. “It’s a normal mistake, it happens. But I’m sure they just want to understand what happened, really.”

During the session McLaren complained to FIA race director Michael Masi about the incident. “Michael that’s absolutely ridiculous,” said team manager Paul James, “he could have taken our guys out there, and the pit wall.”

Speaking after the session McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl told Sky it was “obviously a scary moment, but in the end it can happen.”

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2021 Styrian 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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29 comments on “Bottas doubts he’ll be penalised for “normal mistake” after spinning in pits”

  1. It’s not exactly a normal incident and I would expect there would be a penalty surrounding it.

    1. Look like a sign he definitely will lose seat at merc next year and probably will have a seat at mclaren since he spinned in front mclaren garage. LOL!

      Reply moderated
    2. @maddme +1 Sums it up for me.

      1. Me too. Especially when he admits they tried something different. When RBR tries something different there’s a new TD. Why shouldn’t this at least cause a penalty visa vie the ‘something different’ they tried. Might wake them up to not try that again, as well as give warning to other teams not to try this obviously dangerous thing either.

          1. neiana Thank you

    3. I’d say it should also lead to a question about why F1, never tired to tell you that safety is paramount, has a big, slippery addbanner painted on the one part of the track where numerous people stand largely unprotected.

  2. “It’s a normal mistake, it happens”……hahaha…thanks for the laugh!

  3. I’m wondering if MB is trying a new kind of launch mode specific to leaving the box, after clearly losing out on total pit time in France (with Hamilton).

    1. Have you not seen the piece by Ant? Sky were supposed to put it out on social media. Nothing to do with leaving the box, more about where the box is.

      1. Can only find it on Sky

        https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/f1/12341567/merc-red-bull-pit-stop-battle

        Something RB will have noted if they get this pit box next year.

        1. The link leads to the deleted lap comparison. But I found the right one.
          So, to early braking entering the pitlane by Lewis and a strange stop configuration in the puts. Partly Lewis and partly team fuc@# up there.

  4. I’m not sure if he’ll get a penalty, but probably a reprimand and a couple of penalty points at least. But maybe a grid drop, I don’t know, and there is no real precedent for this. What may be more worrying for him is if he is deemed to have reversed in the pitlane. He did travel backwards when the car was spinning, and did technically travel the wrong way down the pitlane when trying to recover. It may come down to whether the stewards deem that reversing in the pitlane means actually engaging reverse gear or not.

    1. His comment “How was the tyre warm up” is going to get him the penalty. Not apologetic at all, shows he does not give a s… about safety!

    2. Tommy Scragend
      25th June 2021, 16:38

      there is no real precedent for this

      Happens all the time according to Valtteri!!!

      1. Surprised it doesn’t happen more according to Guenther!

  5. They sure did try something different getting out of the box. Not very subtle either.

  6. There is something about the way Bottas handles situations like these that make him quite unlikeable to me. He often seems stubborn and sulky. Watching the footage it didn’t look like he made any gestures towards the McLaren pit crew to apologise or thank them.

    1. @d0senbrot It is just the Finnish way of going about things it seems. Kimi didn’t seem particularly bothered after he ran over his mechanic in Bahrain a few years ago, and Hakkinen was never one to show too much emotion either. Of course i can’t speak for all of Finland, only these drivers, but they don’t seem to get particularly emotional at any point.

      1. @randommallard There is probably some truth to finns seemingly bothering less, and Kimi is the a prime example. But Bottas handles the media differently. It’s not that he doesn’t care, that’s why I wrote stubborn, maybe undiscerning. Also his post race radio message in Russia wasn’t very finnish either.

  7. Bottas and Mercedes should be penalized for this great safety incident – they were just rushing their pit stop with a dangerous situation as result :-) :-) :-)

    Come on, Bottas certainly should get a 3 place grid penalty and penalty points for unable to properly control his car in the pitlane. Without joking this was very dangerous, very stupid and really unnecessary.

    1. @jelle-van-der-meer You were dead on correct with the 3 places and multiple (2) points. What are next week’s lottery numbers?

  8. Weird spin indeed. Does anyone know if the procedure is just to floor it as the car leaves the pitbox and let the electronics (e.g. speed limiter) handle the wheelspin?

    1. Handle the wheels ping, sounds like a vet illegal traction control.
      So not allowed, not even for Toto.

  9. Where is the technical directive on whatever it was that Mercedes was trying? Surely that was just as dangerous as a mechanic anticipating the completion of a task rather than waiting for it to be complete?

  10. This aged badly.

  11. Ahah, happens all the time, he says, and it’s an unprecedented event, and indeed fun that there’s already a penalty article up, and then I see this!

  12. Valterreier, sorry have you ever mind to engage yourself with a different sport? Golf, badminton, there is a great world outthere..

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