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Determining the incident to be ‘dangerous driving in the pit lane’, stewards said Bottas had told them he had tried something different to normal – pulling away from the Mercedes pit area in second gear – having lost time on exiting the box in the past.

“When BOT pulled away from his designated pit stop position, he lost control of the car when he turned into the fast lane,” read a stewards’ statement.

Speaking immediately after the session before heading to the stewards, Bottas said: “We tried something different getting out from the box and there were some variables to what we normally do with the wheelspin, so that’s why I spun.

“I would be surprised [if the stewards took action]. It’s a normal mistake, it happens. I’m sure they want to understand what happened.”

The Finn will carry the penalty into Saturday afternoon’s qualifying hour at the Red Bull Ring, which begins at 2pm on Sky Sports F1 with build-up from 1pm.

As part of the first triple header of F1’s 2021 season, F1 has arrived in Austria for back-to-back races at the fast and challenging Red Bull Ring in the heart of the picturesque Styrian hills.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, the 12-point world championship leader, topped both practice sessions on Friday, but Mercedes appeared more competitive relative to their rivals than was the case at the start of the Paul Ricard event last weekend.

Lewis Hamilton actually posted a fractionally quicker time than Verstappen in afternoon practice but the effort was deleted for a track limits infringement and the world champion dropped to fourth on the final timesheet.

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“I think we were a little bit down, particularly over a single lap, but generally over the day the car felt relatively solid,” said Hamilton. “Some weaknesses and, as I said coming into the weekend, losing on the straight a considerable amount, so we’ve got to keep working to try and rectify that.

“It’s very close with the whole pack; the Red Bulls definitely will be really hard to beat. I think they’ve just got the edge – maybe more, we don’t know what they’re going to do when they turn that engine up.”

And Hamilton admitted: “They are throwing some really good punches right now, so we’ve got to have our guards up and make sure we’re ready for the return.”

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