Bottas denies role in restart smash as 12 drivers receive warnings

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Valtteri Bottas denied his restart tactics played a role in the multi-car crash at the first Safety Car restart in the Tuscan Grand Prix.

Fearing an attack from teammate Lewis Hamilton behind on the long run to Turn 1, the Finn waited until the last possible moment to drop the hammer but as he did so, four cars collided towards the back of the field.

However, Bottas, who the stewards absolved of any blame in their findings from the crash, was adamant his delay played no role in the concertina effect that developed.

“So we’re allowed to race from the control line, which has been there for a while," he explained.

"Just the difference this year has been the Safety Car - they are putting the lights off quite late so you can only build the gap pretty late on.

"So of course when you are in the lead you try to maximise your chances and I’m not at all to blame for that.

“Everyone can look at everything they want for it. I was doing consistent speed until I went. Yes, I went late, but we start racing from the control line, not before that.

“So the guys who crashed behind because of that, they can look in the mirror. There is no point whining about it."

The accident saw both Antonio Giovinazzi and Carlos Sainz hit the slow-moving Haas of Kevin Magnussen, with Nicholas Latifi also hit despite narrowly missing the Dane.

Following a lengthy post-race investigation by the stewards though, a total of 12 drivers (Kvyat, Latifi, Albon, Stroll, Ricciardo, Perez, Norris, Ocon, Russell, Giovinazzi and Sainz) have since been given a formal warning.

“The Stewards conclude that the root cause of this incident was the inconsistent application of throttle and brake, from the final corner along the pit straight, by the above drivers,” read a statement.

“The Stewards acknowledge the challenges the location of the Control Line presents at this circuit and the desire of drivers to take advantage of the restart.

“However this incident demonstrates the need for caution to be exercised in the restart situation and note that there was an extreme concertina effect which dramatically increased as it moved down the field.

“We also note that some drivers might have avoided being involved in the incident had they not followed directly behind the car in front.

“By doing so they effectively blocked off all visibility of what was happening immediately in front of the preceding car.

“A warning has been imposed as it is the view of the Stewards that no one driver was wholly or predominantly to blame.”

As for Bottas' race, he was able to get a better start than in recent races and passed teammate Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1 at the original start.


However, following the red flag caused by the main straight pile-up, the Briton repassed and would stay ahead until the chequered flag.

“I think it’s disappointing, for sure. Frustrating isn’t the right word, because I felt I really tried everything," Valtteri said.

"At least the first part, the first start was absolutely perfect, on the re-start, I managed to keep my position and felt that the pace was good. Once I lost the position to Lewis, on the second start, I tried everything I could to get it back but I couldn’t.

“He was faultless today and it was a pretty crazy race, it feels like we had three races instead of one. I tried and I feel it’s just a matter of time before things will go my way. It will come and I’ll keep pushing.”