Bottas will 'have a word' with Sargeant following Suzuka clash

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Valtteri Bottas said after last Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix that he would likely "to have a word" with Logan Sargeant to discuss the Williams driver's maneuver in the race that resulted in both driver's retirement.

Bottas had been forced to pit after the opening lap after picking up a puncture in the commotion that had taken place at the start.

The Alfa Romeo driver then found himself behind Sargeant when he rejoined the track, with the field running behind the Safety Car which had been called out to clear debris on the main straight.

On the restart on lap 5, the pair were approaching Suzuka's Turn 11 hairpin and Bottas attempted to overtake the Williams on the outside of the corner.

The Finn looked to be in the clear when Sargeant locked up and understeered into the Alfa, clipping its left-rear wheel and sending Bottas into the gravel trap.

He eventually rejoined the track, but the damage sustained by his car as a result of the clash forced him to call it a day on lap 7.

"Actually I had a pretty decent start off the line, and then I was between two cars and the car on the right [Esteban Ocon's Alpine] started to drift towards me and, in the end, didn’t leave any space and we collided," Bottas explained.

"I was in the middle of the two cars and I can’t disappear from there, especially going at full gas. I don’t know if the car on the right saw me, knew I was there, but we collided. So, I had a puncture on Lap 1.


Alfa Romeo's crews were forced to service both of their cars as Zhou Guanyu's C43 had also sustained damage at the start.

"We had to stop both cars at the same time and we also had to change the nosecone, so, yes, it was a bit messy," Bottas added.

"It clearly wasn’t meant to be today, for me. I tried to overtake him [Sargeant] around the outside, I thought I left him plenty of space but I think he locked up and then he took me out. Unlucky."

Upon Bottas' return to the pits, Alfa assessed the damage and opted to retire the Finn's car.

"Yes, there was too much damage," he said. "It felt like something in the suspension but on the diffuser. Plus, there was a big hole on the sidepod, so it was not clearly my day.

"It was clearly undrivable at that point. A bit unlucky."


Bottas said that he would perhaps seek out Sargeant to have a word with the young American to understand what had happened.

"Yes, maybe I’ll have a word with him, to figure out what he was thinking about. It could be it was just a mistake," he said.

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