Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has taken issue with Lance Stroll’s defensive tactics during the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.
Stroll incurred the wrath of the stewards twice over the course of last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, colliding with compatriot Nicholas Latifi during qualifying before contravening the sporting regulations during his defence of his position from Bottas.
He was given a grid penalty and two penalty points for a “lack of situational awareness” for Saturday’s incident, and he was adjudged to have made more than one movement to defend from Bottas in the race.
“Stroll moved to the right to defend against a potential overtake from Bottas,” read the stewards’ ruling.
“Stroll returned to the racing line and then moved to the right for a second time to defend from another move by Bottas.
“The second move breaches the regulation which prohibits more than one change of direction to defend a position.”
Stroll was thus given a five-second penalty and a penalty point to boot, leaving him on eight points after an eventful weekend.
The Canadian also passed Bottas with an aggressive move on the Virtual Safety Car restart after Max Verstappen’s retirement, and the 32-year-old was not best pleased with that one either, although the stewards deemed that no further action was needed.
“Yeah, the weaving just made it very hard for me to decide where to go, it was a bit on the limit,” said after the race.
“And yeah that pass, obviously forced me to go off the track, so I don’t think that’s how you should race.”
He eventually got ahead of the Aston Martin, and reckons that he might have been able to pass Esteban Ocon for seventh place had he not found himself caught behind Stroll for as long as he was.
“But I still managed to get through and I think that cost me a bit of time for sure, maybe Esteban could still have been otherwise reachable, but still, four points is not bad,” he added.
Despite the attenuation of his chances of scoring six points due to his battle with the 24-year-old, Bottas enjoyed the enthralling midfield battle in Melbourne.
“Yeah absolutely, from start to finish just pushing flat out and fighting,” he said.
“Sometimes I dropped one or two places and then managed to get it back, so overall I think it was a good race, good strategy.
“Bit unlucky with the Safety Car because we stopped just before it, but other than that it was okay.”
Bottas sits tenth in the Drivers’ Championship after his eighth-place finish down under on Sunday.