Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon have both escaped penalties following an investigation that took place following qualifying for the US Grand Prix. Both men were called to the stewards due to “driving unnecessarily slowly on an in-lap during qualifying.”
Bottas and Ocon qualified in fourth and sixth place respectively, with Bottas set to start the race from third due to a penalty for Sebastian Vettel. The pair were made to wait to see if they would be handed a punishment, however, both escaped without any penalty applied.
“Car 77 (and Car 31) exceeded the specified maximum time between Safety Car Lines on its post-qualifying in lap,” the stewards' decision read. “The stewards closely examined the driver’s in lap and found that Car 77 (and Car 31) did not drive unnecessarily slowly or in a manner to adversely affect any other driver.”
'Main focus' is getting past Raikkonen
Speaking about Sunday's race, Bottas says that his main priority is to get in front of Kimi Raikkonen, who starts on the front row alongside Bottas' teammate Lewis Hamilton. Bottas' role in the race could prove vital in the battle for the championship, which Hamilton can wrap up in Austin.
"P3 is not a bad position to start from though and my main focus will be to get past Kimi because we want to get the maximum number of points for the team," Bottas said. "Both Lewis and I will be on the SuperSoft and Kimi between us will be on the Ultras, so that should be interesting for the start. "
Friday running at the Circuit of the Americas was a washout, with running limited due to heavy rainfall. Bottas says that the upcoming race, which is expected to take place in dry conditions, will be a bit of an unknown for all the teams due to the lack of data.
"I think every team will go into Sunday with a number of question marks since we couldn't do any proper long runs, so we have only limited information on the tyres. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow to fid out what's going to happen," the Finn said.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing