Chances of collisions higher due to Mercedes, Ferrari pace similarities – Bottas

by Paul Hensby

Valtteri Bottas feels the reason why there have been several on-track clashes between the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari outfit this season is because the two teams are so evenly matched, with neither team solely to blame for any of the clashes.

The high profile clash between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in Azerbaijan has been widely debated in recent weeks, but the opening lap at the Baku City Circuit saw Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen come to blows at turn two.

Bottas hit the inside kerb harder than he had wanted to, and he unfortunately hit Raikkonen, causing the Mercedes driver to return to the pits with a puncture, while Raikkonen’s Ferrari suffered minor damage to its bodywork.

“I think we’ve been about the same in terms of contact between Ferrari and Mercedes,” said Bottas on Thursday in Austria. “We are always starting very close to each other so it makes a big chance for us to collide it is just unlucky it is me and Kimi who clash.

“I’m not going to change. What I did in Baku I wouldn’t change because for me there was no option for me to back off in that situation. I ran over the kerb but I ran off more than I expected and I couldn’t keep the line anymore and that is why I hit him.”

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