Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll collide, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023

Bottas falls to 15th after time penalty for Stroll clash

Formula 1

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Valtteri Bottas has been hit with a five second post-race time penalty by the stewards for colliding with Lance Stroll late in the Mexican Grand Prix.

The two drivers were fighting over 13th position with six laps remaining in the race when they clashed in the Foro Sol stadium section in the final sector.

Bottas was one place ahead of Stroll and pressuring Nico Hulkenberg for 12th position when Stroll lunged to the inside of the Alfa Romeo driver into turn 13. As they rounded the corner side-by-side and then approached the right hand kink of turn 14 that immediately follows, Bottas’ left-front wheel clipped the right-rear of the Aston Martin, sending Stroll into a spin. Despite being able to continue after his spin, Stroll retired soon afterwards due to damage sustained in the clash.

Both Bottas and Stroll described the contact as a racing incident after the race. However, the stewards summoned both drivers for an investigation and determined that Bottas was “predominately” to blame.

“Car 18 [Stroll] made a passing manoeuvre on car 77 [Bottas] into turn 13, successfully and in accordance with the driving standard guidelines,” they ruled. “On the exit of the turn, car 77 ran wide and as it attempted to return to the racing line, collided with car 18 which was ahead of car 77.”

The stewards handed Bottas a five-second time penalty for the clash. The punishment drops Bottas from 14th place at the line ahead of team mate Zhou Guanyu to 15th, behind his team mate. Bottas was also handed two penalty points on his FIA superlicence for his perceived responsibility in the clash.

Before the race had ended, the stewards announced they would take no further action in either of the two incidents of contact between Oscar Piastri and Yuki Tsunoda. The two were fighting over seventh place when Tsunoda appeared to clip Piastri’s left-rear corner through turn two, before making further contact at turn one soon afterwards, when Tsunoda appeared to move into Piastri heading into the corner.

Tsunoda was sent spinning down the escape road, dropping towards the very back of the field. However, after reviewing replay footage while the race as ongoing, the stewards believed that neither Tsunoda nor Piastri had been “predominately” to blame for the collision.

Pictures: Bottas and Stroll collide

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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11 comments on “Bottas falls to 15th after time penalty for Stroll clash”

  1. I guess I stand corrected re: my earlier comments as I thought Stroll’s move may have been a little overcooked and put him in a position where contact was inevitable. These picture (lovely as they are) are all rather post contact, but the stewards have clearly stated that Bottas’ attempt to resume the racing line whist being behind was the problem so I obviously misread.

    Hmmmm. I thought I’d have another look for a replay before I posted, and found one from Bottas’ onboard. From that it looks to me as though he was forced slightly wide as Stroll was incoming (from the outboard he noticeably jinks right as the cars are approximately parallel, and came back no more than being on the correct side of the curb whilst even seeming to decelerate “in relation” to Stroll’s speed). It hesitate to suggest it was even a borderline optimistic lunge (though I do definitely hesitate).

    Ultimately I think (without the benefit of the data and statements the stewards have) it’s a bit harsh on Bottas. It doesn’t get much more ‘racing incident-y’, and if anything it had been Stroll that had been demonstrating more blatant poor driving standards at several points during the race.

  2. He indeed was more at fault.

  3. someone or something
    30th October 2023, 9:43

    Wait, what? I guess I’ll have to rewatch that, because in my impression it was exactly the other way around, Stroll putting himself at an almost inevitable risk of contact with clumsy positioning, i.e. a racing incident.
    Really surprised the Stewards got involved, and I’m struggling to reconcile their reasoning with what I saw.

  4. Can’t fathom Bottas getting two penalty points on his licence for this. That’s the same as Sargeant got on Saturday for two failures to observe a yellow flag, which was clearly a more serious lapse.

    1. Coventry Climax
      30th October 2023, 11:56

      Steward ‘sponsorship’ by Lawrence senior?
      It’s not like there’s no history of him paying up to advance his son’s results.

      1. Derek Edwards
        30th October 2023, 14:00

        Buy a team is one thing – bribing stewards, which is what you are suggesting, is quite another. Any evidence?

        1. Pretty sure he wasn’t being serious.

          1. Coventry Climax
            30th October 2023, 21:41


      2. nice tinfoil hat you have there

        just typical inconsistent stewarding, is all

    2. Yeah very strange. Fwiw, i thought it was a bit of an opportunistic but desperate lunge from Stroll in a place where the door was naturally going to be closing, Don’t really blame him for sending it, but equally don’t really blame Bottas for trying to close the door. All ended up being a bit clumsy rather than dangerous. Time penalty probably fair enough but no idea where the penalty points come into it. Far worse offences with far more potential for injury got nothing.

      On that note… FIA really needs to have a real talk to teams and F1 personnel about the Pit Lane (and need to be firmer on speeding within it), Seems to be every second or third race weekend there’s somebody wandering out when they shouldn’t, not paying attention for oncoming cars etc. Big accident waiting to happen.

  5. Seems an overreaction. Stroll might have technically given Bottas some room, but with the track bending again soon after it was not a particularly good line to take – nor to force Bottas on. Giving Bottas two full penalty points is a bit rich considering all the shenanigans they let others get away with, even in this very race.

    But Bottas doesn’t have to be too bothered, it’s pretty obvious from earlier cases that the stewards will simply stop giving penalty points if a driver is close to triggering a ban.

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