Skip to content

Australian GP: Valtteri Bottas crashes out in qualifying

Valtteri Bottas crashed out of Australian GP qualifying in an early setback to the Finn's 2018 season.

The Mercedes driver was just starting his first flying lap in Q3 when he ran wide into Turn One, and when Bottas got on the power just off the apex he lost control of his car and smashed into the barriers.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has confirmed the impact, which measured 27G, damaged the W09's gearbox and a change will trigger a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's race. Bottas will now start 15th after failing to set a timed lap in the session.

It was a huge shunt and the crash meant Q3 was temporarily red-flagged while the costly mistake leaves Mercedes with plenty of work to do to get his car ready.

Australian GP qualifying report: Hamilton on pole

"I started the first timed lap and used a bit more track in the exit of Turn 1, went a bit too wide and was surprised it was still a bit damp from the rain," Bottas told Sky F1.

"I lost the rear of the car, tried to correct it but it happened so quickly and there was nothing I could do really."

More from Australian Gp 2018

Nico Rosberg, the man Bottas replaced at Mercedes in 2017, added on Sky F1: "It was clearly his fault - it's not good for self-confidence."

Bottas had been off Lewis Hamilton's pace throughout qualifying with his team-mate eventually sealing pole position, but would have been hopeful of sealing a front-row start. Instead, he will have to make his way through the field.

"We approach tomorrow with a fighting spirit," he added. "There are no points from Saturday, points are given on Sunday and we will try to come up as high as we can. The team will give it all and from me as well."

Get Sky Sports F1

Around Sky