Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2018

Whiting explains lack of penalty for Bottas-Vettel collision

2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

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FIA race director Charlie Whiting believes the stewards did not issue a penalty for the collision between Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel because neither driver was chiefly to blame.

Bottas was penalised for a subsequent collision with Daniel Ricciardo.

In Whiting’s view, the collision between Bottas and Vettel was “a racing incident” because both drivers could have done more to avoid it.

“My personal view is you normally say an incident is a racing incident if no driver is wholly or predominately to blame. That’s what the stewards use as a yardstick. I believe Seb could probably have given him a bit more room and Valtteri could probably have braked a bit earlier.”

Bottas damaged his front wing in the incident while Vettel was able to continue. Whiting said no penalty would have been issued even if Vettel had suffered a puncture.

“The stewards look at the incident itself, not the consequences. It was what it was, I think it was a clear racing incident.

“There would have been a few more screams and shouts if Seb had got a puncture but I think the decision probably would have been the same.”

Bottas was penalised for his contact with Ricciardo because he didn’t take into consideration how damaged his car was while trying to keep the Red Bull behind him, said Whiting.

“I think what [the stewards] took into consideration was the fact that he knew he had a damaged car, a compromised car, and was trying to race one that was perfect I think that’s what made the difference.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Whiting explains lack of penalty for Bottas-Vettel collision”

  1. I still shift the blame more towards Bottas as the incident was more avoidable from his side than from Vettel’s.

    1. I disagree. Vettel took a narrow line through the corner and knew bottas was also Haider him. Vettel could easily have taken a wider line and given bottas room. Bottas could have slowed a bit earlier but was probably partially expecting vettel to give more room. I would put the blame a little more on better side. However racing incident is probably fair.

      1. 100% racing incident. Vettel was ahead of Bottas by then and like he said, he was surprised to collide with Bottas as he was like 80% car length ahead of Bottas when they turn in the corner.

      2. Vettel did the same as Max overtake Lewis in the beginning of the season and that was also a racing incident. So they are keeping the same messure of decision.

  2. When Rosberg chopped Ricciardo in Hungary 2015, it was judged a racing incident.

    Toto and Rosberg thought Ricciardo should have been penalised.

    Just typical.

  3. Whiting does not want to interfere with the championship dispute.
    Bar kiling someone, called somebody’s mom fat, or ask for grid girls back, Vet and Ham nothing they do will be penalised.

    1. Dont forget calling Whiting names is also fair game since Mexico 2016. Also using car as a weapon(Baku 2017) is allowed so yeah unless you dont kill another driver race directors are fine with it.

    2. I remember 3 places drop for ruining a lap to Sainz

      1. you mean, when he was playing tetris in his steering wheel in the racing line while having light year distance clear/clean view? sorry get your head out…

  4. Thats Charlies view, but remember he is not part of the stewarding team….so has no say..or influence over weak stewards…..
    .yeah right!!

  5. Neil (@neilosjames)
    29th July 2018, 20:13

    Same way I saw it.

  6. If Vandoorne hadn’t held Bottas up for long enough to let Vettel into the DRS window, despite having an engine issue, the point may well have been moot.

  7. This sport needs some actual rules written down… Here’s the ones I usually follow to judge incidents:

    By these rules Bottas has 100% of the blame as he has no right to racing room for being too far behind at the apex. But this is just one possible set of commonly used rules that are clearly not the ones used in F1 right now. I just wish there actually was a set of rules of racing. This whole arbitrary decision making makes for poor racing as drivers don’t actually know what they can and can’t do.

  8. Vettel has history of chopping in front of people before clearing them during an overtake move. In fact it was a trademark Vettel move in the Redbull winning years. Everyone knows that and he was heavily critized for it in those years including Webber who was at the brunt of the Vettel chopping I beleive in Turkey. The Stewards are spineless. Nothing Vettel does will be penalized in order to keep the championship going.

    1. Do let us know what rule was broken by taking the racing line at the apex while ahead of Bottas.

      1. His left rear wheel assembly would beg to differ that he was ahead. You can’t chop until your car is entirely infront or what happened will happen.

        Didn’t quite work out so well in Singapore 17 for him.

        1. His left wheel was in front at the point Bottas lost downforce and overshot his braking.
          same difference as what happened in Austria, IMHO, plus that was a L1-incident

  9. Although this was towards the end of the race, this was a very similar incident to Vettel and Bottas in France… Vettel had a penalty then, Bottas should have this time.

    The stewards keep saying they want continuity, yet, at this race, Sainz went through

  10. I acually quite agree with the call – both raced hard ang both can be blamed as a contributer…
    But the Ricardio-incident did put scratches in my positive feelings for Bottas in general!

  11. I think Vettel tends to shut doors quite hard.. And at times it doesn’t work out well, plenty of examples of that..
    But I’d still class this as a racing incident though, Bottas didn’t back off, probably because of the Raikkonnen threat.
    I liked Raikkonnen’s line in that incident, he saw both drivers on the narrow compromised line and stayed out nice and wide ready to take the optimal line and get a sweet corner exit. Nice anticipation from one of the best in the game.

  12. Verstappen would have gotten a penalty driving in either role ;-)

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