Bottas "not at all to blame" for Mugello restart crash

Valtteri Bottas felt he was not to blame for the crash that caused a red flag early in the Tuscan GP, but questioned the safety of the current restart rules.

Bottas "not at all to blame" for Mugello restart crash

Following a safety car period for a crash on the opening lap, the race at Mugello was red flagged on lap nine following a multi-car incident on the start/finish straight.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi and Carlos Sainz were all caught up in the collision that saw many of the drivers further back accelerate earlier for the restart than the cars ahead.

Romain Grosjean reacted to the incident by saying it was "f**king stupid from whoever was at the front".

Bottas was seen weaving and slowly leading the field to the restart line, leaving it late before accelerating, but said he was not to blame for the collision as he had acted within the rules.

"We're allowed to race from the control line, which has been there for a while I think," Bottas said.

"The difference this year is the safety car, they are putting the lights off quite late, so you can build a gap pretty late on.

"Of course when you're in the lead, you try to maximise your chances, and I'm not at all to blame for that. Everyone can look at everything they want for it, I was doing consistent speed until I went.

"Yes, I went late, but we started racing from the control line, not before that. The guys behind who crashed because of that, they can look in the mirror. There's no point whining about it."

Read Also:

Bottas questioned the safety of the current procedures and rules that mean drivers can leave it so late before accelerating.

"I don't know who decides what is happening with the safety cars, but they're trying to make the show better by turning the lights later, so you can't build a gap early and go the corner before the race starts," Bottas said.

"Maybe it's time to think if that's right and safe to do so."

Lewis Hamilton defended Bottas' actions, saying his teammate was blameless and that responsibility should instead lie with F1's rulemakers.

"It's absolutely not Valtteri's fault at all, it's the decision-makers," Hamilton said.

"They're obviously trying to make it more exciting, but ultimately today you've seen they put people at risk, so perhaps they need to rethink that.

"They have been moving the switching off the safety car lights later and later and later, and we're out there fighting for position, especially when you earned a position like Valtteri earned a position of being in the lead.

"Then they are trying to make it more exciting, but today was probably a little bit over the limit perhaps.

"[Bottas] did what anyone would do."

Red Bull's Alexander Albon felt it was "obvious" that Bottas would leave it so late before accelerating, and that the midfield cars had tried to pre-empt this, causing the accident.

"The midfield I imagine know where Valtteri is going to go, and they're trying to get the slingshot," Albon explained.

"If Valtteri doesn't go when they think he's going to go, that's when the concertina happens. It's dangerous, but it's predictable as well in that sense because the closer you leave it, the less time you let Valtteri decide when to take off, the more obvious, the shorter time he has to go.

"It's quite easy to read. Even the top five were almost doing like a double formation start because we were all just waiting for the take-off. It's dangerous.

"I think tracks like this are always going to be difficult as well with the long straights, but definitely something could have been done better."

shares
comments

Related video

Sainz escaped "very dangerous" restart crash with bruised hand

Previous article

Sainz escaped "very dangerous" restart crash with bruised hand

Next article

Russell: Missing out on points finish "heartbreaking"

Russell: Missing out on points finish "heartbreaking"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Tuscany GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Author Luke Smith
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021