Stewards deliver verdicts after investigating Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes

Penalty for Valtteri Bottas; no further action against Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Sprint Qualifying
Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami…

Valtteri Bottas has been penalised by FIA stewards at the F1 Miami Grand Prix, but Mercedes are off the hook, after separate incidents.

Sauber’s Bottas has been hit with a three-place grid drop for Saturday’s sprint race.

Bottas was driving slowly on the racing line during sprint qualifying on Friday, when Oscar Piastri approached.

Piastri was on his flying lap, and both cars needed to carefully avoid each other.

Bottas and Sauber admitted that the driver was not told via radio by his team that he was being approached by Piastri.

Bottas was deemed at fault by the stewards who dropped him three places on the starting grid, meaning he will start from the back.

“The primary responsibility rests with the driver to ensure that he does not place himself in a position whereby he unnecessarily impedes another driver,” the stewards stated.

Williams’ Logan Sargeant and Alex Albon both move forwards one place, as a result.

No further action against Mercedes

There was no penalty for Mercedes after the stewards investigated a pitlane incident.

Lewis Hamilton’s mechanics appeared to work on his car in the pits without wearing helmets, which is a rule breach.

Mercedes were summoned to the stewards in Miami but were not hit with a punishment.

The stewards noted: “As we were examining the conduct of the team in relation to this infringement (which was reported to us by race control), it came to our attention that a number of other teams had engaged in similar work without helmets and/or without eye protection during the session either within the pit stop position or in close proximity to it.

“Certainly, those that were working on the car within the pit stop positions would also have been in breach of Article 34.13 (for example by touching the car or jacking up the car). Indeed, those slightly outside of their pit stop position may not been in breach of the above article but the distinction, from a safety perspective (which is the likely purpose for this rule), was not obvious to us.

“Furthermore, it appears to be the established practice to jack the car up, while blowers are used to cool the brakes, within the pit stop position to bring the car back into the garage. That too, read strictly, could be in breach of the above regulations.

“So, in these circumstances, penalising one team, where all or nearly all the teams may potentially have been in breach of this article in some form or the other would not serve a useful purpose.”

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