Wolff “surprised” stewards did not investigate Ricciardo over Bottas collision

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he was “surprised” the stewards did not conduct an investigation into the first-lap collision between Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas.

Ricciardo tapped the Mercedes driver into a spin at the first corner. Both continued but fell to the back of the field, and two other drivers crashed in the ensuing chaos.

The collision occured after Ricciardo locked his brakes as the drivers arrived at the first corner. He nudged the rear of Bottas’ car with his front wing.

Race control quickly concluded no investigation was necessary. But Wolff said: “I think the stewards should have [had] a look into it.”

“In hindsight it was surprising that they didn’t look at a penalty,” he added.

Poll: Should Ricciardo have been penalised for first-lap collision with Bottas?
Bottas spent much of the race stuck behind Ricciardo, and went on to finish 15th after a slow pit stop and two further tyre changes in a bid to set the fastest lap of the race. Speaking afterwards, Wolff said the point at which a penalty for Ricciardo would have benefitted Mercedes had passed.

“It doesn’t give us any benefit if Daniel gets penalised for the next race,” he said. “It would have helped in the race but at that moment our train has left the station anyway.

“The incident happened and in a way we could have maybe scored a few points more, but that’s not what we’re aiming for, we’re aiming to race at the very front.”

However McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said the incident did not deserve a penalty. “From our point of view it was a racing incident,” he said, pointing out Ricciardo “managed to make the apex” and did not slide wide into Bottas.

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2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Wolff “surprised” stewards did not investigate Ricciardo over Bottas collision”

  1. Not even taking a look was indeed surprising.

  2. Yes, I agree that it was a surprise, the commentators also brought that up during more or less the whole race.

  3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    8th November 2021, 17:05

    I’m not one that agrees with penalizing drivers for every incident, especially on first laps. Penalties should only be applied to complete brain-farts and dangerous driving only. Though, Ricciardo is 100% at fault here… I do not see it as egregious enough to warrant a penalty. Was not hard contact and Ricciardo didn’t lose control of his car as he slowed down enough to make the corner. It was an unfortunate coming together. Ricciardo might have been a little too greedy under braking, but not intentional. I agree with McLaren’s point of view on this.

  4. Luckily for Toto us RaceFans-readers did a lengthy investigation and discussion, I think Toto is too fast neglecting that.

    1. Well said. He should know better by now

  5. The problem of this incident is the consistency. Some races earlier the stewards gave Gasly a penalty for a contact with Alonso because “Gasly was 100% responsible for the contact”, so the same thing happend now and they don’t even investigate the incident.

    To me, both cases dosen’r deserve a penalty, but is unfair to handle one and denied other.

    FIA: Consistency, consistency, consistency

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      9th November 2021, 2:02

      Agree 100%… Both incidents not penalty worthy and the need of inconsistent stewarding needs to be addressed.

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        9th November 2021, 2:04

        Typo correction**
        The need of consistent stewarding needs to be addressed.

  6. Perhaps the stewards like Bottas as much as Wolff does.
    Perhaps Wolff forgot Masi’s number.
    I’m surprised Wolff does not blame Bottas for the contact.

  7. Daniel had the car in control and Bottas swiped across and parked his car in the way. It wasn’t a lock up that caused the crash. I’m surprised Bottas thought he could simply come from the middle of the track to the right hand side and hit the apex and not have contact when there were 17 cars behind him, and that too on the first corner of the first lap.

    I’m surprised Wolff didn’t take it up with the stewards but spoke about it to the media after. Probably because he saw it wasn’t Daniel’s fault. He simply said this to make Bottas feel like the team is with him, even though it was poor judgement from Bottas that led to his spin.

    1. I’m surprised of ur comment, Bottas didn’t do anything wrong and Daniel is 100% at fault. What would have happened if Daniel was Bottas and Bottas was Verstappen? You would be here demanding a race ban for Bottas.

  8. FIA. Frequently Inconsistent Adjudications!

  9. Bowling Bottas didnt get a penalty for Hungary I believe? Then, they made it impossible to give Ricciardo one here.

    1. He did get a penalty in Hungary. 5 place grid-drop for Spa.

  10. I feel he’s right. Not saying it was as bad as Bottas in Hungary, but they should have looked at it. Ricciardo was a bit clumsy to take that line, but you could say the same about Bottas, but it is Bottas his line. Seemed like a racing incident to me, but the stewards not even investigating was a bit lazy.

  11. Racing incident 100%.

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