Valtteri Bottas has been given his first reprimand of the season for his FP2 incident with the Haas of Romain Grosjean.
The Mercedes driver dived down the inside of Grosjean in an attempt to overtake him and the Frenchman, seemingly unaware of his presence, turned in, causing the two to touch and bring out a red flag. Both were then summoned to the stewards’ room.
“Valtteri accepted responsibility for the collision and acknowledged that it was a failed attempt at an overtake which resulted in the collision,” the stewards noted in their decision.
As they said, Bottas agreed with his team principal’s assessment that the crash was his fault rather than Grosjean’s.
“I thought he would see me coming because he was at some point trying to cover the line,” he said.
“So I thought he was aware I was there but maybe he didn’t look at the mirror before turning him. I expected him to see me and I saw the gap decreasing and there was no escape.
“Obviously my apologies, but there was nowhere for me to disappear. I went for the overtake and that was it.”
Despite the crash, Bottas nonetheless topped FP2 and, with his engine induced grid penalty, is focused on finding good race pace for the car tomorrow.
“I had a positive feeling in the car today in both sessions, my pace seemed to be good. For sure there’s things we can improve for tomorrow, but it’s started off in the right way,” he added as per Crash.net.
“You always need to be careful because it’s only practice and you see many teams normally make big jumps into Saturday.
“But the main thing for me and to focus on in FP3 is to try and get a good car for the race pace because no matter what I do in the qualifying I will be starting last.
“That’s the reality this weekend so I need to focus on the race pace.”
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