The Styrian Grand Prix is happening this Sunday, the middle of three straight weekends of hot Formula 1 action. In the second practice session today, Valtteri Bottas had a bit of an issue.
The issue, apparently, is that his tires weren’t warm enough as he peeled out of a pit stop and he was in a different gear than normal, causing the wheels to lose grip on acceleration and sending Bottas’s car sliding sideways. It was all a bit dangerous because this is pit lane and there are crew members standing around. That is not a place where you want to have an out-of-control racecar. In the end, though, no one got hurt and Bottas just kind of slid into a stop, where he was then pushed out by nearby McLaren crew members and, eventually, made it back on the racetrack.
Bottas’s whole deal is that he is just good enough to deserve his seat at Mercedes but just bad enough to not threaten Lewis Hamilton, who must prefer racing a teammate who doesn’t quite threaten him. This incident is very much in keeping with that. Poor Bottas will also serve a grid penalty for it.
“During the hearing,” the Stewards said, “[Bottas] stated that in the past they have been losing time in the pit departure. So they tried something new, which was to leave in second gear. As a result, the wheel spin was much higher and the result unexpected. Therefore he didn’t manage to control the car properly into the fast lane.”
That is a good bit of intel for Mercedes’ competitors, but we are not here to talk about Mercedes’ pit exit strategy but instead to revel in the wonder that is Taki Inoue, considered by some to be the worst Formula 1 driver of all time.
That is tough but fair, Taki. No one show this to Bottas.