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Bottas 'wasn't fussed' about hitting Vettel in Hungary, says Palmer

Written by  Aug 02, 2018

Former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer has suggested Valtteri Bottas didn't care if he made contact with Sebastian Vettel during their late tussle at the Hungarian GP.

The Finn played what Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff described as a "wingman" role for teammate Lewis Hamilton in Budapest, holding off the Ferraris for as long as he could,

However, after opting to pit early to cover Kimi Raikkonen, degrading tyres allowed Vettel the chance to catch and finally pass on the approach to Turn 2 with the pair touching as Bottas braked late into the corner.

"It's fair to say Vettel arguably could have given Bottas more room on the inside as they headed to Turn 2," Palmer wrote in his post-race column for the BBC.

"Vettel did close the door to take the apex and could have been more cautious, but Bottas never should have tried to recover the position in the manner he did.

"I think it was desperation from Bottas - he wasn't fussed about crashing with Vettel at that point and put his car in a position where a crash was almost inevitable."

The merest hint that Valtteri was in some way willing to ruin his own race by hitting the Ferrari is interesting because that was the tone Mercedes took about the Scuderia when Raikkonen hit Hamilton on Lap 1 at Silverstone, with the latter calling it "interesting tactics".

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Palmer also admits it was a good thing that there were no repercussions for Vettel after the incident.

"For F1's sake it was good (and lucky) Vettel managed to continue unscathed - because if he had retired after that hit from Bottas, it could have put a real taint on what has been a breathtaking season so far," added the former Renault F1 driver.

"In the end, Vettel finished second and Bottas picked up damage - ultimately his comeuppance - and Vettel was magnanimous afterwards.

"If Vettel had retired, I think the inquisition from Ferrari and governing body the FIA would have been a deep one."

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