Valtteri Bottas admitted his accident in second practice for the Austrian Grand Prix was a ‘pretty big hit’, but the Finn was able to walk away from the incident without suffering any injury.
The Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver crashed at turn six mid-way through the afternoon session at the Red Bull Ring, suffering a 23G impact with the barriers as he lost control thanks to a gust of wind unsettling his W10 car, with Bottas not returning to the track again on Friday.
Despite the incident, Bottas said he prefers tracks that penalises mistakes rather than ones that have excessive run-off areas, feeling it makes it a more exciting experience. Just last weekend, Formula 1 was at the Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix, with that track surrounded by a lot of run off that made recovery from any incident much easier.
“It was pretty big hit for me in second practice but I’m all okay with no pain,” said Bottas, who’s time of 1:05.417 was good enough for second place in the session. “There were some gusts out there this afternoon and I think I managed to find one of them – the corners here are very tricky and very penalising if you make even a small error.
“But I must say I prefer this kind of circuit which penalises mistakes – it’s how I like it and it makes it even more exciting.”
Even before the accident, Bottas revealed he had been switched to revert to an old engine ahead of second practice after issues in the morning, but he was still able to find a good baseline for the set-up, with his car feeling good beneath him until he lost control.
“Before the shunt, I had an issue with the engine this morning which meant we swapped to the old one for FP1,” said the Finn. “That compromised me a little bit but we found a clear direction on car set-up.
“We made some pretty big changes for FP2 and it felt a lot better until the accident. So overall, a good feeling on the car performance but other teams are quick as well.”
Bottas says the high temperatures expected this weekend at the Red Bull Ring will put cars ‘to the limit’ when it comes to cooling of the brakes and engine. The Finn is also excited to see how qualifying unfolds on Saturday providing no further mistakes are made.
“It’s going to be very hot this weekend, especially on Sunday, and will put the cars to the limit in terms of cooling the brakes and the engine,” admitted Bottas. “I think it’s going to be very close on the time sheets and it should be fun in qualifying.”