Bottas feels Verstappen's puncture in Mexico GP was his own doing

2w ago

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Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas believes that it was Max Verstappen's over commitment that caused the puncture to the Red Bull Racing car in F1 Mexico GP.

Red Bull's Verstappen had a bad start to F1 Mexico GP as he went off track while trying to fight the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton for track position in Turn 1-2-3 sequence. It dropped him behind both the McLaren's Lando Norris and Bottas.

In a hurry to make up places, on Lap 4, Verstappen made a move on Bottas in the stadium section, which was applauded by many but not for long. Replays showed that his surprise move to dive down the inside of the Finnish driver, ended up in a contact.

Verstappen's right rear tyre suffered a clip from the front wing of Bottas' car as he then picked up a slow puncture, which came off in Turn 1-2-3 sequence as he limped back into the pits. Bottas felt the puncture was the Dutch driver's fault all the way.

"For me, just out of nowhere he appeared on the inside into Turn 13 and I couldn't disappear from there," started Bottas. "He just dived in and we touched. He got a puncture from that. I couldn't really avoid him, so I think he earned his own puncture, definitely.

"I don't know; every driver is obviously different. Some are more aggressive, and some are less. I haven't raced very closely for some time with all of them, so I can't say in detail for all the drivers [to know if Verstappen is the most aggressive driver]."

Teammate Lewis Hamilton had his own clash with Verstappen at the start of the race and the British driver added how he has to be smart when racing against him. "I think every driver is slightly different," said Hamilton.

"Some are smarter; some are like very smart, aggressive and some are silly with it. And so, through those experiences of racing with people, you give some more space and others you don’t have to. They’re quite respectful.

"But it's very likely you're going to come together with Max if you don't give him extra space, so most of the time you do. But as I said, in my experience, I didn't have a lot of space to give him extra space. But I don't think it was intentional or anything like that.

"It was just… he's a magnet for those kinds of things, but nonetheless, I managed to keep the car together and in a straight line, fortunately." From Verstappen's side, it was worth the try against Bottas as he pushed on to recover places.

"Despite the early laps issues, the race was still on as I overtook Valtteri, I think he clipped with his front wing my rear tyre, so not so lovely," he said. "I went on the inside and suddenly felt a touch. It wasn't an ideal one stop as in the end I was just hanging on."

[Image courtesy: F1 Twitter] [Note: This story was co-written by me and Venkatesh P Koushik on FormulaRapida.net]

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Comments (2)
  • I'm inclined to disagree with Bottas. From his onboard you can see he spotted Verstappen, briefly backed out of turning in and then did it anyway. Sure he can't see his front wing, but that hesitation to me says Valtteri could have avoided the contact. Then again Max lunged really late, so it's likely just a racing incident.

    15 days ago
    1 Bump
    • Max wasn't really fully under control, I mean, there. It was to try because Mercedes couldn't be taken on the straights, worth a go. Valtteri more meant here, I think, that puncture...

      Read more
      14 days ago

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