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everyone always tries to piss you off

Valtteri Bottas spun out of the Mercedes box with 20 minutes to go during Friday’s practice in Styria, briefly blocking the fast lane.

The mechanics of McLaren who were nearby rushed to help turn Bottas’s car around and let him out on the track, but the McLaren team principal quickly made a complaint to the FIA ​​race director, Michael Masi, calling the incident “ridiculous.”

The stewards sanctioned Bottas with three places on the starting grid for dangerous driving. The Finn explained that he had tried to start in second gear to reduce tire slippage.

During qualifying on Saturday, Bottas led Mercedes’ attack and finished second in Q3 ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton, but will drop to fifth on the grid due to his penalty.

Asked about the stewards’ decision, the Finn said that he did not expect to receive such a harsh sanction, but pointed out the competitive advantage that rivals seek to obtain in these kinds of circumstances.

“My personal opinion is that it was pretty tough,” Bottas said.

“I never imagined that after that there would be a penalty. But of course other teams when there is equal opportunity, they complain that it is dangerous, etc., for which we would be penalized.”

“That’s the way it is. In this sport everyone always tries to screw you up.”

“Of course it can be a dangerous situation if there are a lot of people in the pitlane.”

The attempt to start in second gear came as part of Mercedes’ efforts to try to reduce wheel slip when exiting the pits after identifying it as a contributing factor to the time they lost to Max Verstappen in the Grand Prix of France last Sunday.

Bottas admitted that the spin “definitely surprised me” and that he “never imagined it would happen in the pitlane,” explaining that it was more difficult to maintain control when in second gear.

“We decided to try something different by starting in second gear,” said the Scandinavian.

“Sometimes with a higher gear you have less revs, and maybe you can get the wheels to turn, but the initial part is not that aggressive. But once the wheels were spinning I was completely surprised.”

“I don’t know, maybe the line on the pitlane was still a bit wet from the rain. I just couldn’t hold on.”

“Obviously it’s quite a different behavior when you’re in second gear compared to first, so that’s what happened.”

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