Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff finds it harsh that “some sporting directors” whinge about someone as honest as Valtteri Bottas following his pitstop accident. He acknowledged the potential risk but has defended Bottas, thinking his ‘safety record’ should be considered.

“He was very honest and straightforward with his explanation,” Wolff said.

“He came out and he said I tried to optimise my start and I lost it.”

“We should have a little bit more integrity like Valtteri has around the paddock, including the ones that push the button very quickly and moan about everyone else and whinge.”

The stewards ruled Bottas’ pitstop spin to be potentially dangerous, leading to a three-pace drop penalty after complaints from McLaren team manager Paul James, making the Finn start the Styrian Grand Prix from fifth.

Wolff criticized this “entertaining” behavior, calling the penalty excessive. Despite that, he says he understands why the penalty was inflicted although he finds it “harsh” considering Bottas’ excellent behavior.

“It’s highly entertaining how quickly some sporting directors jump on the channel to Masi and come with Armageddon scenarios,” said Wolff. “It’s good that these channels are now opened up so we can all have a laugh.”

“On the flip side of the thing, Valtteri spun in the pit lane and could have hurt somebody. I understand the penalty, too.”

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