Mercedes F1 Director Shovlin Explains Why Norris is Partly to Blame for Bottas’ Carnage

Published 08/02/2021, 10:50 AM EDT
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren F1 looks on from the garage during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Valtteri Bottas was at the receiving end of quite a lot of anger at the Hungarian Grand Prix. On the very first lap, the Finn rammed into Lando Norris at turn 1, which ended in six cars retiring from the race, the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

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Most of the drivers involved in the incident weren’t please with Bottas, but Andrew Shovlin, Chief racing engineer of Mercedes, doesn’t think his driver is at fault.

Shovlin sides with Valtteri Bottas over turn one incident with Lando Norris

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Mercedes were pretty disappointed by having one of their drivers out of the race, but don’t think Valtteri deserves all the blame. Shovlin feels that Bottas didn’t have much choice, and that the crash wasn’t really his fault.

SINGAPORE – SEPTEMBER 16: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff (R) and engineer Andrew Shovlin talk in the Pitlane before the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 16, 2018 in Singapore. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Valtteri was behind Lando before Turn 1, which must have cost him downforce, and then he misjudged the braking point, the wheels locked. In the wet you are then a passenger,” Shovlin explained. (Translated via Google Translate)

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How does this affect the championship?

With one driver out of the race, all of Mercedes hopes relied on the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton. However, the Brackley-based squad had a new set of obstacles to deal with as Hamilton was zipping around the Hungaroring.

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When most of the drivers opted to switch their tires, Lewis stayed out with his intermediates. He soon came to regret that decision and found himself back in the pits a lap later.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Third placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates on the podium after the race REUTERS/Florion Goga

This mistake saw him lose the lead of the race, but the Knight was determined. He fought his way up the grid and earned himself a third-place finish.

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The Brit picked up eighteen points from Budapest and gave back the lead to Mercedes in the championship. With a tally of 300 points, Hamilton & Co would look forward to Belgium GP, with the hope of winning that could see them extend their advantage in the championship.

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Arpit Gomes

852 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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