Formula One race director Michael Masi admitted that Bottas’ pitlane spin would have been investigated without McLaren complaining about it.
During the second practice session of the Styrian Grand Prix, Bottas had a moment in the pitlane, spinning as he was exiting his garage. The Finn later revealed that he was trying new driving techniques and was honest with the race direction, admitting his mistakes, according to Toto Wolff.
“He was very honest and straightforward with his explanation,” Wolff said.
However, directly after the incident, McLaren team manager Paul James contacted Masi to give his thoughts: “That’s absolutely ridiculous. He could have taken our guys out there, and the pit wall.”
Wolff then admitted being annoyed by other teams’ “whinge” over Bottas’ accident and wanted more integrity in the paddock, especially towards his Finn driver that has always acted very professionally.
“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 team principal said.
After all the discussions, Masi gave a definitive end to the conflict, saying that the FIA would have investigated the accident even without James’ message. The Australian pointed out that the stewards have no communication with the teams and are not plugged into his radio channel, meaning that none of them had heard the exchange when the incident was investigated.
“The stewards don’t actually hear any of those communications between myself and the teams. And [they] don’t hear the commentary of the races either. So they are not aware of that side of it in any way, shape or form,” Masi pointed out.
“To be fair, in those types of situations, when incidents like that happen, we go straight up on the screen and put the it’s ‘under investigation’ on, or ‘noted’, whatever it may be, to tell everyone in pitlane what’s happening.”
“But to be fair with what that incident was, even if McLaren hadn’t said anything, I would have asked the stewards to investigate that.”