Grid penalties for Bottas and Stroll, reprimands for others
August 2, 2021
Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll have both been given five-place grid penalties for the next race in Belgium as a result of the chaotic start to this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Bottas suffered a poor start and then braked too late into the first corner, the mercedes running into the side of Lando Norris’ McLaren and pushing it into Max Verstappen whose Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez was also taken out.
“Immediately after the start, in the braking zone to turn 1, car 77 collided with the rear of car 4,” and official statement from the stewards said.
“The stewards took into consideration the track conditions however the driver of car 77 was fully to blame for the collision.”
Read also: Dramatic maiden win for Ocon in extraordinary Hungary GP
As well as a five place drop in Spa, Bottas has also received two penalty points on his F1 superlicence.
“I had a poor start,” the Finn said later. “Wheel spin off the line, and lost places, and then braking into first corner I was right in the gearbox of Lando.
“I just locked the wheels so probably being that close didn’t calculate quite right the braking point, locked two wheels, hit him, and then it was a mess.
“It was obviously my mistake. It shows it’s not so easy in those conditions to predict. So misjudgement and my mistake.”
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll also received a five place grid drop and two penalty points for a separate incident in which he out-braked himself down the inside into the same corner into Charles Leclerc, and tipping Daniel Ricciardo into a spin.
They weren’t the only drivers making a visit to the stewards office after the end of a wet and wild race.
Race winner Esteban Ocon was called to explain a breach of post-race procedure, after failing to return his car to parc ferme and leaving it parked at the end of pit lane.
“Post-race procedure requires drivers who finish the race in the top three positions to return to pit lane and stop at the boards showing their positions,” the stewards said.
“Ocon, who finished in 1st place, failed to do so and parked his car on the track near the end of the pit lane.
“[He] explained that he missed the pit entry and figured that the best place to stop would be close to the pit exit. He apologised and confirmed to be more careful next time.”
The stewards said that it was not a breach of parc ferme regulations and accordingly issued a non-driving reprimand to the Frenchman.
Meanwhile second-place Sebastian Vettel was handed a reprimand for not removing his rainbow T-shirt before the national anthem during the pre-race ceremonies.
“They can disqualify me. They can do what they want. I’d do it again,” a defiant Vettel told Sky Sports f1 in advance of the stewards’ decision.
Fortunately the stewards took an understanding line. “The driver explained that he forgot to take off the WRAO [We Race As One] T-shirt in time during the national anthem because of the onset of rain.”
There were also reprimands for similar infractions by Stroll, Bottas and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Vettel is also under investigation for a significantly more serious issue, because his car reportedly didn’t have enough fuel remaining after the finish to provide the requisite post-race sample.
F1 technical regulations state: “Competitors must ensure that a one-litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the event” but only 300ml could be retrieved.
It could mean that Vettel is disqualified from the race which would promote Lewis Hamilton to second place and Sainz onto the podium in third.
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