FIA reach verdict on Valtteri Bottas’ rusty pit-lane infringement at Bahrain Grand Prix

Jamie Woodhouse
Valtteri Bottas

Sauber's Valtteri Bottas.

Valtteri Bottas has been hit with a reprimand after jumping the gun in the pit lane at the start of FP2 in Bahrain.

With the sun having set for the second practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix race weekend as the floodlights took hold around the circuit, Bottas ensured he was right at the front of the queue in his Sauber as he prepared to head out and sample the more representative conditions of what the drivers will find come qualifying and the race.

However, Bottas was just a little too eager to head out onto the track.

Valtteri Bottas crosses pit exit line under red light

As Bottas made his way down the pit lane and dipped out of the fast lane in preparation for a practice start, the 10-time grands prix winner actually crossed the pit exit line before the light had turned green to mark the start of the session.

One arguably to put down to a bit of rust after the off-season, the stewards at the Bahrain International Circuit indeed took a lenient view, as Bottas got away with just a reprimand.

He also avoided any penalty points being added to his superlicence.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car ​77 (Valtteri Bottas), team representative and reviewed video evidence and determined that Car 77 crossed the pit exit line while the red light was on,” their verdict began.

“The driver stopped shortly after crossing the line and admitted his error at the hearing. We accordingly imposed a reprimand with no penalty points.” recommends

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Sauber were a team that went into F1 2024 admitting that improvement was needed across the board after managing only P9 in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship, though FP2 ultimately will not prove a great source of encouragement heading into the first qualifying session of the season.

P17 was the best Bottas could manage, 1.6 seconds off the FP2-topping pace of former Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, while Bottas’ Sauber team-mate Zhou Guanyu was forced to settle for P19.

Read next – Bahrain Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton heads Mercedes FP2 1-2 as Max Verstappen down in P6