Wolff: Bottas Hungary crash won’t influence 2022 F1 driver decision

Toto Wolff says Valtteri Bottas’s first-corner crash in Hungary will not have any impact on Mercedes’ Formula 1 driver decision for 2022.

Wolff: Bottas Hungary crash won’t influence 2022 F1 driver decision

Mercedes is currently weighing up whether to continue with Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate for next season, or promote junior driver George Russell into the senior team.

Russell has been part of Mercedes’ young driver programme since 2017, and has impressed in F1 since making his debut with Williams in 2019. He scored his first points for the team in Hungary last weekend, finishing eighth.

Russell’s best F1 result was aided by two first-corner crashes in damp conditions involving seven cars, one of which was triggered by Bottas.

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

Bottas’s car continued into the path of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull, with all drivers bar Verstappen forced to retire due to damage.

The error sparked criticism from Norris, who said he expected better from top 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 break.

But Mercedes F1 chief Wolff made clear that Bottas’s mistake would not have an impact on the team’s driver decision for 2022.

“No, the mistake was unfortunate with big consequences,” Wolff said.

“He got sandwiched by the two cars in front, lost all downforce, and then it was already too late.

“It doesn’t influence at all the decision.”

Read Also:

Mercedes is expected to make a decision between Bottas and Russell over the summer break, and will be the first major domino to fall in the driver market for next year.

Bottas felt disappointed after his third DNF of the 2021 season, having collided with Russell at Imola in the wet and lost a comfortable second-place finish at Monaco due to a wheel nut failure.

The Finn sits fourth in the drivers’ championship, 87 points behind Mercedes teammate Hamilton, and has failed to win a race this year.

Bottas acknowledged that the season so far “hasn’t gone my way”, but believed he had been making progress in recent races prior to his Hungary crash.

“At least in the last few races, it feels like it’s been slightly positive, getting some podiums and more points,” Bottas said.

“But now I have three DNFs, which is quite a lot in terms of points, so it’s not been great.

“But there’s still more than half to go in terms of number of races and we keep going.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes baffled by Red Bull's 'odd' F1 wing choice
Previous article

Mercedes baffled by Red Bull's 'odd' F1 wing choice

Next article

Masi insists Spa is safe for F1 following high-speed GT3 crash

Masi insists Spa is safe for F1 following high-speed GT3 crash
Load comments
The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Prime

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021