Bottas mistake won’t influence Mercedes choice

Date published: August 3 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas’ mistake at the Hungarian Grand Prix will not influence Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s 2022 driver decision.

Bottas is fighting to secure his seat at Mercedes for 2022, and hoped to go into the summer break off the back of a strong showing in Hungary.

But as it turned out, Bottas’ race did not even make it past Turn 1 after slamming into the back of Lando Norris’ McLaren, and with that, Bottas, Norris and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez were all out of the race.

Max Verstappen in the other Red Bull also got caught up in the drama, suffering heavy damage to the side of his RB16B.

There was a fair bit of anger aimed towards Bottas after that incident, but not from Wolff, who will consider the bigger picture when deciding whether he wants Bottas or George Russell alongside Lewis Hamilton for 2022.

“It doesn’t influence the decision at all,” Wolff is quoted by the Express.

“The mistake was unfortunate with big consequences. He got sandwiched by the two cars in front and lost downforce and then it was already too late.”

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Following the crash Bottas told Sky F1 that he accepted the blame, having locked-up on the wet track and rear-ended the McLaren of Norris.

“I think it’s fair enough,” Bottas said when told  that the other drivers involved were blaming him.

“I had a bad start, a lot of wheelspin so lost the momentum, Lando got ahead of me and I was right behind him braking into Turn 1.

“And I think I misjudged the braking points, I wasn’t expecting to lock the wheels.

“It also felt like they braked quite early, but I was the one behind and I was responsible for in the end hitting Lando and that meant that he then took a lot of people off in front of him.

“So it’s not great for me and not great for others.”