Mercedes F1 director Andrew Shovlin says Lando Norris was partly to blame for Hungarian GP incident.
Valtteri Bottas was the man at fault for what transpired in the opening lap of the Hungarian GP. He collided into Norris from behind, sending him spinning and taking out other cars in the process. Bottas also took out the two Red Bulls in the process, retiring one and damaging the other.
This earned him the wrath of many F1 fans and drivers. Most of them were displeased with his driving and actions. However, Shovlin came to the aid of his driver; and made quite an interesting remark.
Shovlin opined that Bottas couldn’t really do much about what happened. He suggested that Norris overtaking and then blocking Bottas was another big reason for the incident.
“Valtteri was behind Lando before Turn 1, which must have cost him downforce. And then he misjudged the braking point, the wheels locked,” he said.
Shovlin also pointed out the conditions at the time of the incident. He said, “In the wet, you are then a passenger,” thereby defending Bottas.
Shovlin’s comments are certainly interesting. However, given the almost unanimous backlash for the Finn’s actions at Budapest, he is certainly in the minority. Besides, Norris also sustained so much damage that he was forced to retire. Moreover, he had already overtaken Bottas, and really didn’t have room to move away from the Mercedes.
The German team will certainly be regretting Bottas’ retirement, given how poorly Red Bull performed. However, their redemption came through the ever-reliable Lewis Hamilton, who finished P3 and secured good points.
Bottas has not been his usual self this season, and hasn’t done as well as one would have hoped. With his future in question for the next season, he will need to step up more often. Incidents like this one at Budapest must not be a common occurrence.