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Valtteri Bottas

Bottas endorses clearer penalty rules after Magnussen tactics

Valtteri Bottas has said the stewards enforcing clearer rules on gaining an advantage on track would "make things easier" after Kevin Magnussen incurred multiple penalties keeping drivers behind at the Miami Grand Prix.

Bottas Miami
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Valtteri Bottas has advocated for more clarity from the stewards when drivers go off-track to gain an advantage.

The Stake F1 driver believes the FIA ordering a driver to give a position up would make the penalty system "easier" after it became a major talking point of the Miami Grand Prix weekend.

Kevin Magnussen deliberately accrued time penalties when defending against Lewis Hamilton in the sprint to provide his team-mate a sufficient gap to score points, with Nico Hulkenberg finishing in seventh position.

After the race, the Danish driver admitted he did not like employing such tactics and all of his time penalties were deserved, highlighting that he did it for his team. 

Under the current rules, Magnussen did not have to give up the positions he was holding on to by using such methods - something Bottas feels could be a solution to the issue.

"That would make it easier, if they [the stewards] say: 'you need to give it [the place] back within a lap or otherwise, it's a penalty'. I think that would make things easier, for sure," he told media when asked by RacingNews365 if he thought personal discretion should be taken out of drivers' hands in similar cases, adding: "It will be a discussion [at the next round of the season], for sure."

'It's up to the drivers'

It is not the first time this year taking penalties to hold up the pack has been an issue. At the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Magnussen was given time penalties for what was deemed more-than-robust racing as he looked to provide a pit stop buffer for Hulkenberg ahead.

The approach ultimately worked, as it did in Miami, and the German driver finished the race in tenth, scoring Haas' first point of the season.

The behaviour has been called out by many up and down the paddock, with some not happy with the idea of a team using one driver to back up the field or staying ahead on track by repeatedly racking up penalties for gaining an advantage.

Bottas, however, feels it is up to the individual driver in deciding if they want to use the current system in the way Magnussen and Haas have.

"It's pretty clear, the rules for the racing," the 34-year-old said.

"I've never had an issue following the rules - for me, it's quite straightforward. I think it's up to the drivers if they to do that or not, or if they want to take penalties. I think it's quite simple."

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