Bottas: "I’m not at all to blame" for horrific Mugello crash
Valtteri Bottas is adamant he was "not at all to blame" for the horrific crash at the safety car restart that caused four retirements at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
At the end of a seven-lap safety car period following a lap-one incident that led to Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly crashing out, Bottas held the pack at a slow pace up to the control line in a bid to negate the threat of a slipstream from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas' actions are permitted within the regulations as drivers are only prohibited from speeding up and slowing down in an erratic manner behind the safety car.
However, numerous drivers in the middle to the back of the pack saw the green flags and light panels and returned to racing speeds before Bottas, serving as the de facto safety car, had cleared the field to do so.
Explaining the restart procedure, Bottas explained: “So we’re allowed to race from the control line, which has been there for a while.
"Just the difference this year has been the safety car - they are putting the lights off quite late so you can only build the gap pretty late on.
"So of course when you are in the lead you try to maximise your chances and I’m not at all to blame for that.
“Everyone can look at everything they want for it. I was doing consistent speed until I went. Yes, I went late, but we start racing from the control line, not before that.
“So the guys who crashed behind because of that, they can look in the mirror. There is no point whining about it."
Bottas does, however, believe the restart procedure needs to be reviewed by those in power, claiming too much focus is being put on improving the show.
He added: “FIA, FOM…I don’t know who decides what happens with the safety cars but they’re trying to make the show better by turning the lights off later so we can’t build the gap early and then go like a corner before the main straight.
“Maybe it’s time to think if that is right and safe to do so.”
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