Williams released Bottas "at the right point"

Williams insists it did not release Valtteri Bottas in an unsafe way prior to his collision with Jenson Button in the pitlane at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Williams released Bottas "at the right point"
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW37

Bottas emerged after a tyre change right behind Button, who was slowing down to slot in for his pitstop, and clouted the back of the McLaren.

The impact broke Bottas' front wing and he had to do a full lap of the track for a replacement, which ended his hopes of a strong finishing position.

Despite Bottas getting a five-second time penalty for an 'unsafe' release, Williams performance chief Rob Smedley insists the incident was caused by the Finnish driver simply not seeing Button until too late.

"We will have to analyse it and understand exactly what happened, but we released him at the right point," explained Smedley.

"Unfortunately he saw the McLaren of Jenson too late. He braked at that point and it was almost instantaneous.

"When he saw Jenson he braked, but Jenson was in the part of the road he was going to."

Smedley also suggests that Bottas may have instinctively kept to the right in the pitlane, exactly where Button was, because of a warning of following traffic.

He added: "We have a signal to the drivers to say that traffic is approaching, which means they have to stay on the right hand side towards the slow lane.

"He did that. But they just had a coming together as he saw Jenson too late."

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