Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff says the team is “90 percent confident” of avoiding a penalty in its rebuild of Valtteri Bottas’ car following the Finn’s crash at the end of Mexican Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

Bottas crashed hard at the final corner in the closing stages of Q3, leaving his Mercedes W10 car with a sizeable amount of damage that required repairing ahead of Sunday’s race.

Bottas was taken to the medical centre immediately due to the impact of the accident before quickly being checked and cleared.

The damage left to the car led to fears it may force a chassis or gearbox change that would cost Bottas his P6 starting slot, but Wolff was confident the fixes could be completed without triggering a penalty.

“We are 90 percent confident we can fix without any penalties. It was an unusual angle of impact so I think we got away with that,” Wolff said after qualifying on Saturday.

"They are rebuilding it as we speak. We have to look into the detail, but we have not seen any damage to the gearbox. We do not know if it is leaking.”

Bottas added: “We had the qualifying debrief and they are optimistic [of fixing the car].

“Obviously there’s a lot of work to do for the boys. It was quite a strange incident, so it’s different from the many different parts that are normally damaged in incidents.

“So far we still think it will be OK, but we still need to wait.”

Bottas was heard sounding winded over his radio following the accident, and revealed he felt some initial pain in his right knee following the shunt.

“On the initial one I hit my keens together, so in the first five minutes I couldn’t feel my right knee, but now it’s normal, I have no pain,” Bottas said.

“The last hit against the TecPro [barrier] took my breath away a bit. And I forgot I had the radio on.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...