Bottas handed grid penalty and is first F1 driver to get penalty points

Valtteri Bottas

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas on Saturday became the first Formula One driver to pick up penalty points under a new driving licence-style system introduced this season.

The Finn was also handed a three place grid penalty for Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix after stewards ruled that he impeded the Red Bull of Australian Daniel Ricciardo in a rain-hit Qualifying session.

It was the second time in two races that Bottas had been handed a grid penalty, the one in the Australian season-opener resulting from a gearbox change; he will start 18th at Sepang.

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Under the new system, any driver collecting 12 penalty points in the space of a year will be given a one race ban.

The stewards ruled that Bottas had not paid attention to the approaching car and impeded Ricciardo through turns 14 and 15.

The Finn, who finished fifth in Melbourne after Ricciardo was disqualified from second, was disappointed with the decision: “I thought it would be OK and that there would be no penalties,” he said. (Reuters)

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