Tuesday, November 30

Formula 1 | Wolff puzzled: Why was there no penalty for the crash?



One moment as the pole setter still the driver of the hour, but the next he is the loser of the Formula 1 race. The Mexican Grand Prix couldn’t have started any worse for Valtteri Bottas. Already in the second corner the race was practically over for the Mercedes driver after Daniel Ricciardo forced him into a spin.

The McLaren had touched the Mercedes in the first corner when Ricciardo braked inside. The Australian lost his front wing and had to pit like Bottas.

“That ruined my day, of course,” said Bottas. “I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose, because it also affected his race. But of course that wasn’t ideal for my race,” said the Mercedes driver, who only briefly describes the scene: “Daniel has me Hit the back and I spun. I couldn’t do anything. “

Ricciardo himself had the scene in front of his eyes several times during the race. The whole time he thought that he had just braked himself and drove into Bottas. “I beat myself for it, but then I watched the replay,” he says. And there the scene suddenly looked different to him.

Ricciardo: I feel a little better after Replay

“It looks like I’ve already locked the wheels on the straight, but then regained control before the curve,” he says. “It looks like there just wasn’t enough space. Valtteri moved over and expected to have space, but then Perez and I were there.”

That he was on the dirty part of the route might have helped a little. “But we are aware of that and we should know that,” he says. “You can see some smoke very early, but then I actually had it under control. But I could see the gap closing. You’re still trying to save it, but it was too late.”

“I don’t blame Valtteri for hitting him, but when I look at it it’s just a start-up accident,” the McLaren driver continued. “Maybe I was a little too optimistic, but if I don’t use the gap, someone else will do it and I’ll have the shorter hand.”

“Of course I’m disappointed and also hard on myself because I don’t want to ruin my race on the first lap,” said Ricciardo. “But after watching the replay I feel a little better. It was just a little contact, but we know these cars can’t take much damage.”

Incidentally, at the time he had not noticed that his front wing was damaged. “But then I turned into Turn 2 and realized that I had no grip. So I knew that something was missing.”

Wolff: The commissioners should have looked at that

The race stewards saw no reason to intervene and pronounced no penalty for anyone involved. That came as a surprise to one or the other, given the recent line in incidents. Because in Turkey, for example, Pierre Gasly was punished for a slight push in the first corner against Fernando Alonso – and that on a wet track.

Therefore, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is a bit surprised that there was no investigation: “I think that the commissioners should have looked at it,” he says.

Although Ricciardo’s punishment would not have saved Bottas’ race, it would have made his race easier because without the penalty he would have been behind the Australian for most of the race.

“But at that moment the train had already left for us anyway. The incident happened and we might have scored a few more points. But that’s not our goal anyway,” says Wolff. “We want to be at the front. And McLaren had its own difficult weekend.”

Because McLaren suffered a significant setback in the duel with Ferrari for third place with just one point. The Scuderia was able to overtake McLaren with their 18 points for the time being.




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