Valtteri Bottas has no concerns about the recent spate of clashes between Ferrari and Mercedes drivers on the opening lap of Formula 1 races, believing they are part and parcel of two teams fighting closely together on-track.

Bottas was hit by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the French Grand Prix three weeks ago, while teammate Lewis Hamilton collided with Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap at Silverstone last weekend, sparking concern about the regularity of the incidents.

Hamilton spoke about Ferrari's "interesting tactics" after the race at Silverstone, appearing to hint they could have been deliberate, but later retracted his comments and accepted an apology from Raikkonen over the collision.



Asked by after the race if he was concerned by the incidents with Ferrari drivers, Bottas said: "No. From these incidents, I can't say there are any concerns.

"I think we are always starting more or less in a similar position, so we are always going to be battling. Sometimes you get hit, and normally you tend to do so with cars that are not in the same team as you.

"We are fighting hard and this can happen. It's only a couple of incidents. Of course, it's been always pretty bad for us."

Bottas saw his hopes of challenging for victory in France end after the clash with Vettel, leaving the Finn to finish down in seventh. Vettel received a five-second time penalty for the collision.

Raikkonen's clash with Hamilton at Silverstone resulted in a 10-second time penalty for the Ferrari driving, leading to some queries about the level of consistency in the stewards' decisions given the two incidents were similar.

However, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff did not share these concerns, believing the stewards were doing all they could with the limited number of penalties at their disposal.

"I think there’s actually consistency on the penalties." Wolff said. "They are what they are and there’s a certain arsenal of penalties the stewards have available, a five second penalty and a 10-seconds penalty or a drive-through - that’s what they have in the regulations, and then they look at the precedents.

"What we need to discuss among all of us is that if certain incidents occur and they have a massive outcome in what’s happening, maybe around a race win and what the consequences will be that’s a different story.

"But on the penalty itself, they are like the rulebook says, so it is what it is."




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