WATCH: Valtteri Bottas Voices His Displeasure With Michael Masi on Mercedes F1 Radio

Published 11/20/2021, 9:28 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Mexico Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Edgard Garrido


Valtteri Bottas was left confused during the second practice session by the changing track limits in Qatar. For context, Losail Circuit is hosting a Formula 1 race for the first-time and race director Michael Masi has been constantly reviewing the track limits.

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Drivers were given a free go during the first practice session. However, a new dictate was issued for the FP2, and non-compliance with the same resulted in deleted lap time for Bottas and others as well.

Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 19, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Valtteri Bottas admits to some confusion

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The Finn recorded the fastest lap time during the second practice session of 1:23:154, which was later deleted for exceeding track limits on turn 7. He was left confused when the engineer told him about the changing track limits, “they are making them as we go.” 

Bottas set the pace with another lap, this time 0.006 seconds quicker than his previously fastest lap. He was followed by AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly and Red Bull of Max Verstappen. But Bottas didn’t seem particularly happy with the communication gap on the track limits.

“It would have been nice to know before, Michael,” said the Mercedes driver addressing race director Michael Masi on the radio.

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“All the run-offs are tarmac, so it’s quite easy to go off and gain time,” he said, as reported by Motorsport. “Even some of my fastest laps, I had confusion, I didn’t know what was allowed and what wasn’t.”

What are the rules now?

Initially, the track limits were monitored only on Turn 4, 12, 13, 14, and 16 as per the guidelines. However, after the first practice session, track limits were included at each corner. “The track limit on the exit of each corner at this track is defined as when no part of a car remains in contact with the purple and white kerb,” the revised note issued by Masi read.

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The blanket rule was not communicated well with the drivers, which led to confusion and deleted lap times for many. Later in the evening, another note from the race director listed turns 2, 7, and 16 as specific areas of concern.

Read Also – Qatar Grand Prix FP3 Report: Red Bull Face F1 Rear Wing Hitch as Bottas Steals the Show in Losail

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Rituraj Tripathi

85 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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