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Bottas reprimanded following collision in Abu Dhabi practice



Big error: Valtteri Bottas (above) crashed with Romain Grosjean

Big error: Valtteri Bottas (above) crashed with Romain Grosjean

AFP via Getty Images

Big error: Valtteri Bottas (above) crashed with Romain Grosjean

Valtteri Bottas crashed with Romain Grosjean in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Bottas set the fastest time of the day's concluding running before colliding with the Haas driver at Turn 11 of the Yas Marina Circuit.

Bottas dived underneath Grosjean in the braking zone for the right-handed corner before the two made contact with both suffering damage to their cars.

"What the f*** was that?" said Grosjean over the radio. Bottas pointed the finger of blame at the accident-prone Frenchman. "He drove into me and didn't leave any space," said the Finn.

Lewis Hamilton, who trailed his Mercedes team-mate by a third of a second, was informed that it was Grosjean who had collided with Bottas.

"I could have guessed," said the world champion in a thinly-veiled dig at Grosjean.

Bottas later accepted fault for the collision and was reprimanded by the stewards.

Bottas had enjoyed an encouraging day after setting the fastest times in both sessions. However, the Mercedes driver will start tomorrow's concluding race of the season from the back of the field following an engine change.

Bottas' penalty leaves Hamilton in a strong position to see out another Championship-winning campaign with his 11th victory of the year.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc finished the night running in third place, 0.386 seconds off Bottas' pace, with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel fourth.

It was not the smoothest of practice sessions for Ferrari after Vettel crashed out yesterday morning before Leclerc hit the barriers later in the day.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who won in Brazil a fortnight ago, finished fifth, half a second slower than Bottas. Alex Albon was sixth in the Red Bull.

Lando Norris, in his last grand prix as a rookie, was 12th, one place behind McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz.

Belfast Telegraph