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Bottas Penalized for Impeding Piastri in Sprint

Bottas Penalized for Impeding Piastri in Sprint

04/05/2024

Bottas faces a grid drop after impeding Piastri, adding tension to the upcoming Sprint race.

As we reported last night (read here), Valtteri Bottas has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the sprint race for impeding Oscar Piastri during qualifying.

The stewards found that Sauber had not informed Bottas of the approaching McLaren driver. Piastri caught up to Bottas at the first turn after the Sauber driver had completed a flying lap.

“On the straight before the first corner, car 77 [Bottas] was traveling slowly on the racing line after completing a fast lap, while car 81 [Piastri] was on a fast lap. Cars 81 and 77 had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.”

“The primary responsibility lies with the driver to ensure that he does not place himself in a position where he would unnecessarily impede another driver. Here, car 77 was moving slowly on the racing line and caused the following situation.”

“However, during the hearing, the team and the driver of car 77 admitted that the team had not warned the driver of car 77 that car 81 was approaching on a fast lap. This was clearly a mistake on the part of the team and significantly contributed to the incident.”

Bottas’s three-place grid penalty for the Sprint only costs him two positions since he had qualified 18th. The stewards did not add any penalty points to his license.

The stewards also reviewed a pit stop by Lewis Hamilton during SQ2. It was alleged that the mechanics had adjusted the front wing angle without helmets.

Although this is a breach of Article 34.13, the stewards judged that “from a safety standpoint, it was not clear-cut.” They also noted that “the practice was common when it came to placing a car on a jack or cooling it with fans before returning it to the garage, and believed that all other teams could therefore have been found in breach.”

It is now up to the FIA to clarify common practices during qualifying to clarify the rule.

Bottas Penalized for Impeding Piastri in Sprint

Bottas Penalized for Impeding Piastri in Sprint. Bottas Penalized for Impeding Piastri in Sprint

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