Mercedes has apologised to Chinese fans after Valtteri Bottas made a joke about coronavirus following last Sunday’s grand prix in Istanbul.
On the day his teammate Lewis Hamilton sealed the title, the Finnish driver was asked by Ziggo Sport if he would like to scratch the date from history.
“Yeah, or the day someone bought a bat in Wuhan,” Bottas joked.
On the Twitter-like Chinese platform Weibo, the Mercedes team apologised.
“Dear Chinese car fans,” the apology reads. “Last Sunday, Valtteri had a tough and disappointing race, in which he lost the world title.
“He didn’t intend to offend anyone in front of the TV cameras straight after the race, and certainly meant no disrespect to China and Chinese fans.
“He still is the Valtteri we all know, he cares about every fan in China as much as we do, wishes each of you the best and to stay safe in such a difficult time,” Mercedes added.