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Vettel believes Bottas jumped the start

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Vettel believes Bottas jumped the start
By:
Jul 9, 2017, 2:27 PM

Sebastian Vettel believes Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas jumped the start of the Austrian Grand Prix.

 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Start action
Race winner Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08 leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-17 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08. at the start
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, lifts his arm in victory celebration at the finish, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, celebrates his third place on the podium

Vettel finished second to Bottas by 0.658s after the Finn held the lead from pole position at the start, which stewards investigated but took no action against.

The Ferrari driver said that he was certain Bottas had jumped the start from his vantage point, but also accepted that the stewards are the ones who judge the legality.

On-screen graphics in the television coverage put Bottas's reaction time at 0.201s.

"From my point of view, he jumped the start – I was sure that he did," said Vettel. "It looked like it from inside the car, but it's not for me to judge at the end of the day.

"[My start] was quite tricky for me to keep standing still. it was OK, a bit of wheelspin early on."

When asked to clarify why he believed it was a jump start, Vettel described Bottas' getaway as "unhuman".

"When I say I don't believe, I don't believe," said Vettel. "Normally, the reactions are 0.2s for everyone, so I don't believe everyone was slower today.

"So that is why I don't believe Valtteri was so much quicker. I was a strong believer that he jumped the start, but it turns out he didn't - that is why I don't believe it. His start was unhuman."

Bottas described his getaway as the best of his life.

"I think that was the start of my life, I was really on it today," he said. "When the car was moving, the lights were off – that is the main thing.

Bottas admitted that there is an element of gambling on correctly anticipating the start.

"[With] the start lights, there are different variations since the lights are on and go off, but the variation for a long time has not been massive," said Bottas.

"So you know more or less the zone when it is going off, so gambling with your reaction and guessing sometimes you get a mega one, sometimes you are a bit late.

"Today was my best reaction for the lights. As long as it is positive [in terms of time after the lights go off], it is fine."

Ricciardo: Bottas got lucky

Daniel Ricciardo, who started directly behind Bottas, also said it looked like Bottas jumped the start and that the Mercedes driver was lucky to time his getaway so it was legal.

"The main this it was positive, but the lights were held for a long time, more than normal," said Ricciardo.

"There is always a window, but it seemed longer and you are waiting, waiting and he went but the lights went out - I guess he got lucky.

"I did it in F3 once, and it was on the edge, you react but at the same point the lights went out. In theory, that it is not a natural reaction.

"But I don't believe he reacted to the lights. I said it looked like Valtteri jumped - he didn't jump because it was positive - but for sure he got a bit lucky."

Mercedes technical director James Allison confirmed that the start was legal and that was in keeping with the longstanding reaction time deemed permissible by the FIA.

"Well, the rules have been like this forever so it's just the way it's always been," Allison told Sky Sports F1. "He was positive at the start, not negative, so it's a fair start."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Location Red Bull Ring
Drivers Valtteri Bottas Shop Now
Teams Mercedes Shop Now
Author Edd Straw