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FIA suggests sterner Bottas penalty had race start been dry

FIA suggests sterner Bottas penalty had race start been dry

FIA suggests sterner Bottas penalty had race start been dry

FIA suggests sterner Bottas penalty had race start been dry
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

FIA race director Michael Masi has indicated Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll could have been handed stricter punishments for causing turn one collisions had the Hungarian Grand Prix started in the dry.

Bottas triggered the lap one meleé when he out-braked himself and hit Lando Norris, shoving the McLaren into Red Bull's Max Verstappen before additionally hitting the Dutch driver's team-mate Sergio Perez.

Aston Martin driver Stroll made an almost identical mistake behind to send Charles Leclerc into retirement and hamper the second McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo.

Both drivers were given five-place grid penalties for the Belgian Grand Prix after the summer break as both retired on the spot, rendering any time penalties obsolete.

Asked if the penalties were clear cut despite the damp weather conditions at the start of the race, Masi replied: "Correct.

"That is why, even allowing for the rain, you could say possibly that if it was dry conditions and the same incident happened, it may have been a stronger penalty.

"But based on that, it was quite clear cut and that is why the stewards said in both decisions that both of those drivers were wholly to blame.

"There was no predominantly or anything else. It was point-blank their mistake."

Masi reiterates FIA stance on judging incident in isolation

The wording of the stewarding process has come into question in recent weeks following Verstappen's collision with Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix.

Red Bull's appeals for a stricter sanction than a 10-second time penalty due to the severity of the incident were, however, dismissed.

At the time, Masi explained an incident is dealt with in isolation and not by its consequences.

Reiterating the stance when asked if the penalties should have been harsher given the extent of the damage caused, Masi said: "As we have said before, it is not the outcome, it is the incident itself.

"Both of those incidents were judged on their merits and deemed that it wasn't a three-grid spot penalty... no different to a five or ten-second pit lane drive-through penalty or a stop-and-go.

"They can issue three grid spots, five grid spots, 10 grid spots, a pit lane start or whatever, depending on what they judge the incident as.

"It was judged on the basis of the incident, not the outcome."

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