Mercedes not judging Bottas despite another tough race in Hungary

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he won't judge Valtteri Bottas on one race after another poor result at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Finn was bullied out of second place by Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap and then damaged his front wing in contact with Charles Leclerc on the approach to Turn 4.

Having pitted for repairs, his comeback was then halted by Daniel Ricciardo before a second pit-stop finally allowed Bottas to recover back to eighth place.

“Well, it was tough. Not what I expected, far from it,” he surmised post-race. “After the first-lap incidents, it was a bit of a mess. I knew it was going to be tricky, I did everything I could.”

Explaining what happened in the opening corners, Bottas continued...

“Turn 1, I had a lock-up, that was my mistake. I was trying to brake as late and as hard as I could. I was trying to get to the outside of Max [Verstappen],” he said.

“But there was a bit of a nip there on the front-right. So then with the flat spots, I gained a bit of understeer in the left-hand corner that then made it tricky for Turn 3 with Lewis came and Charles came and I lost a big piece of front wing.

“I couldn't really see him coming, in the mirror, so that made it tricky,” he added on the Leclerc moment.

“I knew I had a bad run out of that corner and there could be someone, but everything happens really quick.”

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With Verstappen claiming second, having been outsmarted by Mercedes and teammate Hamilton, it means the gap between the Dutchman and Bottas is now just seven points.

And on a weekend when there is a growing expectation that Esteban Ocon will get the nod for 2020, Wolff was diplomatic.

“I don’t think we want to make it dependent from one bad day,” he told Sky Sports.

“We need to look at all of the data, consider lots of factors which speak for him and speak against him.

“I don’t want a discussion about if he’s staying or not, it’s not right. He has had some great inputs with the team and we want to discuss it behind closed doors.

“What’s the merit of having a young one in the team? With all the risk and reward. “What’s the merit of having Valtteri in the team? With all the risk and reward.”