Vettel adamant Bottas jumped start in Austria, calls it ‘inhuman’

Getty Images
4 Comments

Sebastian Vettel remained adamant in the aftermath of Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix that Formula 1 rival Valtteri Bottas jumped the start, despite the Finn being cleared by the FIA’s data.

Bottas made a stunning getaway from pole, sparking race control to investigate a possible jump start as Vettel also complained over the radio.

The stewards found that Bottas had reacted 0.201 seconds after the lights had gone out, clearing him of any wrong-doing.

Bottas went on to beat Vettel to victory at the Red Bull Ring by 0.6 seconds, leaving the German disgruntled about the start-line antics.

“From my point of view he jumped the start. I was sure that he did,” Vettel said in the post-race press conference.

“It looked like it from inside of the car, but it’s not for me to judge at the end of the day. Probably it was a bit late because it’s quite tricky then to keep standing still.”

When informed Bottas’ reaction time was 0.201 seconds, Vettel said: “I don’t believe that.”

Bottas defended himself by explaining he did gamble on when to pull away, saying this is a normal tactic.

“There’s always a variation of time for when the lights go off, but for quite a long time that variation hadn’t been massive,” Bottas said.

“You know more or less the zone when it is going to be off, you are so alert at that point, your gambling between your reaction and guessing.

“Sometimes you get a mega start, sometimes you react a bit late and today it was one of my best reactions to the light. As long as the reaction time is positive, you’re fine.”

Vettel replied: “First of all, to clarify, I don’t want to take anything away from Valtteri. I think he drove an excellent race. Also at the end with a difficult car, he didn’t do a mistake, so he performed well.

“When I said I don’t believe this, I don’t believe it. I don’t believe that reaction times are around 0.2 for everyone. I don’t think that everyone was that much slower today. That’s why I don’t believe Valtteri was that much quicker.

“I had a strong belief at the time he jumped the start. I’m guessing that there’s reason to believe he didn’t, but I can’t imagine his reaction time was 0.2.

“From my point of view his reaction was inhuman.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
0 Comments

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.