Valtteri Bottas has been given a three-place grid penalty for an impeding incident in Malaysian GP qualifying involving Daniel Ricciardo.
The Finn, who drops from 15th to 18th, has also been given two super licence penalty points. He’s the first driver to accrue points under the new system – 12 points in 12 months will trigger a one-race ban.
Bottas was adamant that he was not at fault, but the stewards decided that he “did not pay attention to the approaching car and continued to impede car 3 through Turns 14 and 15.”
He endured a troubled session, as Williams struggled to get both its cars out on the right tyres at the right time.
“It was a difficult qualifying session for us today and it was very reminiscent of our qualifying in Melbourne,” said Bottas. “The more water there was on track the more we struggled with the rear grip of the car. We tried both the intermediates and the wets but we just couldn’t get the grip we needed from either tyre.
“The wet conditions highlight where our weaknesses are, so we have a clear direction for where we need to improve the car. I still think we have a chance of fighting for some points though if we have a dry race.”