McLaren slam ‘ridiculous’ Valtteri Bottas pit-lane spin
McLaren were far from pleased after Valtteri Bottas spun in the pit lane in Austria and narrowly avoided one of their personnel.
Despite the threats of rain on Friday the Red Bull Ring remained dry for both practice sessions, and so Bottas went about the usual procedure of laying some rubber down in his pit box during FP2.
But in doing so he lost the back end of his Mercedes W12 while exiting the pit box, causing him to spin in the fast lane and come to a stop very close to the McLaren crew.
Valtteri Bottas spins in the pit lane after being released
He does very well to keep the car under control and avoid the barriers. He's helped by the McLaren team and he's now back on track#StyrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/bRoftghlqA
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 25, 2021
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The mechanics over at McLaren quickly set about correcting Bottas’ stricken Mercedes, though the screech of the tyres so close was surely terrifying for the team.
And over on the pit wall, McLaren were fuming after Bottas came dangerously close to them.
“Michael, that’s absolutely ridiculous,” McLaren said via the pit wall to FIA race director Michael Masi.
“They could have taken out one of the guys on the pit wall.”
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl was first and foremost thankful that no harm came of that “scary” moment.
“I don’t know what happened there – obviously a scary moment. All we could do is get Valtteri to find the right direction again with his car by pushing him backwards and forwards,” he told Sky F1.
The FIA are investigating the incident, and asked if pit-lane safety was something that Seidl talks to his drivers about, he stated that it is a subject which the drivers should already be fully aware of.
“I think that’s something where you don’t need to talk to your drivers [about it], they all know about the pit lane, about the people who are in the pit lane,” he explained.
“It’s important that it’s always safety first, to take it cautiously when you exit the pits – especially on new hard tyres.
“But again, I don’t know exactly what happened. It can happen, thank God nothing happened and let’s move on from it.”
Bottas explained that he was trying something “different” as he suffered the spin, but would be surprised if the stewards handed out any punishment.
“I spun, 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,” he stated.
“I would be surprised [if there’s a punishment]. It’s a normal mistake, it happens but I’m sure they just want to understand what happened.”
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