Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Hulkenberg and Bottas defend Red Bull Ring run-off despite damage

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg Valtteri Bottas say they are happy with the run-off arrangements at the Red Bull Ring despite damaging their cars during practice today.

Some team principals caused for changes to the high kerbs around the track after drivers damaged their wings during practice. But Hulkenberg, who brought the first practice session to an early end when he damaged his front wing, said drivers should pay a penalty for running wide.

“It was a mistake from my side just running a bit too fast into that corner and running wide,” said the Renault driver. “I know at high speed these sausage kerbs do a lot of damage. It is the track limit and we know we need to stay within those limits and obey them.

“I made a mistake, I paid the price, this is how it should be. But obviously the car damage that we get from those kerbs is a bit extreme. But I think for this weekend there’s nothing we can do.”

Bottas did even more damage to his Mercedes when his car snapped sideways at turn six, crossed a gravel trap and went nose-first into a barrier. But he also believes driver errors should have consequences.

“I have to say even though I crashed I would prefer to be penalised for your mistakes,” said Bottas. “It makes it a bit more exciting. I think that’s how it should be.

“Definitely the tiniest error will cost a lot here with the aggressive kerbs and the run-offs and everything. So I think that’s the way to go.”

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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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11 comments on “Hulkenberg and Bottas defend Red Bull Ring run-off despite damage”

  1. Did Bottas 2.0 shave the “beard” or what?

  2. How refreshing to a) return to a track with natural limitations and b) see driver statements affirming that natural consequences are necessary! I just hope the team principals complaining about these kerbs are shouting into the wind. If I see any FIA marshals modifying kerbs at the behest of whining TPs’ I’d be extremely disappointed.

    1. Yeah indeed. Now, Hülkenberg has of course been relatively consistent in wanting less runoff, and penalties interfering with his racing, but it very good to see them both maintain that in the face of suffering from their mistakes (and owning up to them, let’s not forget that, maybe as point c) @knewman

    2. Exactly. And you don’t find Team principals complaining about barriers when their drivers make mistakes so why complain about the kerbing that is well off the track.

      Nice to see that drivers actually agree that overdoing it and go off track that something that penalises them isn’t a bad thing.

      Be even nicer if other tracks installed similar kerbing – takes pressure off the stewards too – no more investigating the exceeding of track limits

    3. @knewman To be fair, it’s because drivers doesn’t need to care about the cost of repair while team principals it’s part of their job to worry about the team expenditures. How much do you think Bottas’s car repair cost as depicted in the picture? From that number, do you already factored in transportation cost (sometimes flying it overnight from factory if they have no spare in site), paying labor cost for working overtime or on weekends, material cost? How much of that cost will be deducted or paid by the driver?

      Not saying that the driver should pay the repair bill because otherwise they will hesitate to try to performing at 110%, but someone has to think about those repair costs and how those effecting the team in the big picture.

  3. Palmer on Radio 5 made a good suggestion in my opinion.
    He said “put these kerbs on all the circuits and stop giving out silly little penalties”

    Going off track would be penalty enough and the cost of repairing the cars would soon have teams and drivers staying on the road.

  4. Don frika del prima
    28th June 2019, 18:42

    Says a lot when an fp2 is more exciting than the previous race…

  5. So what kind of strategy are we looking at this weekend?
    A one wing or a two wing?

    I hope we’re not in for a bore fest with everyone driving slowly to conserve wings.

  6. Unforgiving, how it should be. At least there is some runoff areas, unlike Monaco. Quite eventful practices and the track looks difficult to handle which is all good.

  7. Wasn’t it here at Austria, 2-3 years ago that the kerbs caused Kyvat’s rear axle to disintigrate due to the vibrations?

  8. Well RBR could sue the circuits owners. Shouldn’t cost much, I mean Dr Marko is a lawyer. No wait an error has occured, cannot resolve circular equations.

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