Sebastian Vettel questions 'unhuman' Valtteri Bottas start at the Austrian GP
Bottas escapes punishment for lightning getaway but Vettel "doesn't believe" his reaction time; Did the Mercedes driver's "psychic" fingers win him the Austrian GP?
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 18/07/17 12:17pm
Sebastian Vettel has refused to believe Valtteri Bottas didn't jump-start at the beginning of the Austrian GP, despite stewards clearing the Finn of wrongdoing.
Bottas survived a lengthy investigation after both Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo cast doubt about his flying getaway from pole, with Spielberg race stewards later using data to reveal that the Mercedes driver's reaction time at the start was a legal 0.201seconds.
But Vettel remains unconvinced and was adamant that the eventual race winner was lucky to escape without a penalty.
"From my point of view he jumped the start," the German said. "I was sure that he did, it looked like it from inside the car, but it's not for me to judge at the end of the day."
When told that Bottas' reaction time was 0.2s, a bemused Vettel responded: "Hmm... I don't believe that. 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 that much quicker. A 0.2s reaction time would be normal and in my point of view his reaction was unhuman."
Vettel extended his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to 20 points by finishing second on Sunday, but was still ruing a missed opportunity after reducing Bottas' advantage to just 0.6s at the chequered flag.
"For sure, if I pass him at the start - the race looks different," Vettel added to Sky F1's Natalie Pinkham.
Footage released by the FIA proved that Bottas' car wasn't moving at the time the fifth red light was extinguished, and he was relieved to avoid sanction before claiming his second ever F1 win.
"When the car was moving the lights were off, so that was the main thing!" Bottas said.
"It was probably one of the best starts, maybe even quite risky, but there's not much more to gain in the start and I knew I had to make a good one."
Ted Kravitz on Bottas' lightning start
"It's a case of Valtteri Bottas' psychic fingers. He didn't jump the start because the start is measured by when the wheels turned and the wheels turned at the same time the lights went off.
"But that doesn't mean that he released his fingers when the red lights went off, and that's Sebastian Vettel's point, because it would be a tenth of a second, or slightly less than that, between the fingers releasing the clutch and the moment the rear wheels start to propel the car and the front wheels start turning.
"So I think we're looking at a case, and this will be confirmed at Silverstone, that Valtteri's fingers anticipated and perhaps jumped the start, but his car didn't jump the start and that is why he was in the clear and won the race."
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