Bottas summoned to explain ‘scary’ pit lane spin

Valtteri Bottas will appear before the FIA race stewards at the Red Bull Ring to discuss an incident that took place during afternoon practice for the Styrian Grand Prix on Friday.

As he left his pit box, the Mercedes lit up its cold tyres and ended up spinning into the McLaren area.

Fortunately no team personel were in place at the time of the incident. McLaren mechanics subsequently came out of the garage to help get Bottas pointed in the right direction.

“Michael, that’s absolutely ridiculous,” McLaren team manager Paul James told race director Michael Masi over the radio from McLaren’s pit wall. “They could have taken out one of the guys on the pit wall.”

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Masi responded: “Agree, thank you.”

The potential dangers were not lost on senior team management, with McLaren principal Andreas Seidl clearly unhappy when he spoke to Sky Sports F1 after the end of practice.

“Obviously a scary moment,” he said. “All we could do was help get Valtteri to find the right direction again with his car by pushing him backwards and forwards.

“It’s important that it’s always safety first, to take it cautiously when you exit the pits – especially on new hard tyres.

“That’s something where you don’t need to talk to your drivers [about]. They all know about the pit lane, about the people who are in the pit lane.

“But again, I don’t know exactly what happened. It can happen, thank God nothing happened and let’s move on from it.

Bottas has been summoned to the race stewards to explain what happened, but the Finn was confident that there would be no penalty.

“I would be surprised, it’s a normal mistake,” he said. “It happens but I’m sure they just want to understand what happened.”

“We tried something different getting out from the box and there was some variables to what we might do with the wheelspin, so that’s why I spun.”

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After he told the Mercedes pit wall that the spin had been due to the tyre warm-up, his engineer responded: “Not great, as it turned out”.

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