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Bottas Hungary crash gained’t affect 2022 F1 driver determination

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Mercedes is at the moment weighing up whether or not to proceed with Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate for subsequent season, or promote junior driver George Russell into the senior workforce.

Russell has been a part of Mercedes’ younger driver programme since 2017, and has impressed in F1 since making his debut with Williams in 2019.

He scored his first factors for the workforce in Hungary final weekend, ending eighth.

Russell’s finest F1 consequence was aided by two first-corner crashes in damp situations involving seven automobiles, considered one of which was triggered by Bottas.

The Mercedes driver misjudged his braking level and slid into the rear of Lando Norris, whose McLaren then careered into Max Verstappen’s Crimson Bull.

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Bottas’s automotive continued into the trail of Sergio Perez within the second Crimson Bull, with all drivers bar Verstappen pressured to retire because of injury.

The error sparked criticism from Norris, who stated he anticipated higher from high F1 drivers. 

Bottas apologised and took full blame for the incident, and was hit with a five-place grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix after the summer time break.

However Mercedes F1 chief Wolff made clear that Bottas’s mistake wouldn’t have an effect on the workforce’s driver determination for 2022.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, collides with Sergio Perez, Crimson Bull Racing RB16B, initially

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“No, the error was unlucky with massive penalties,” Wolff stated.

“He obtained sandwiched by the 2 automobiles in entrance, misplaced all downforce, after which it was already too late.

“It doesn’t affect in any respect the choice.”

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Mercedes is anticipated to decide between Bottas and Russell over the summer time break, and would be the first main domino to fall within the driver marketplace for subsequent yr.

Bottas felt disillusioned after his third DNF of the 2021 season, having collided with Russell at Imola within the moist and misplaced a snug second-place end at Monaco because of a wheel nut failure.

The Finn sits fourth within the drivers’ championship, 87 factors behind Mercedes team-mate Hamilton, and has didn’t win a race this yr.

Bottas acknowledged that the season to this point “hasn’t gone my means”, however believed he had been making progress in latest races previous to his Hungary crash.

“At the very least in the previous few races, it feels prefer it’s been barely Positive, getting some podiums and extra factors,” Bottas stated.

“However now I’ve three DNFs, which is rather a lot by way of factors, so it’s not been nice.

“However there’s nonetheless greater than half to go by way of variety of races and we preserve going.”

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