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Bottas plots different approach to Hamilton battles

Bottas plots different approach to Hamilton battles

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Bottas plots different approach to Hamilton battles

Bottas plots different approach to Hamilton battles

Valtteri Bottas says he could take a different approach to wheel-to-wheel combat with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton after losing out in the Hungarian Grand Prix, sparking a rapid downward spiral in Budapest.

Bottas lined up second on the grid at the Hungaroring, ahead of Hamilton, who was third.

However, the Brit got a superb launch as Bottas struggled from the off, pushing his way past around the outside of Turn 2, aided by Bottas not pushing him wider.

Hamilton went on to win, while Bottas finished eighth after dropping to last in his dismal start, opening up a 62-point gap between them in the standings which could colour Mercedes' decision on Hamilton's 2020 team-mate, with Esteban Ocon rivalling Bottas for the role.

Toto Wolff has suggested that his decision would be made before racing resumes at the Belgian GP, but Bottas may hope to offer a last-gasp difference if he comes to blows with Hamilton again.

Bottas said: "That's how it goes. We're also here as a team, we want to maximise the points, and we don't want to compromise that side of things.

"Racing still can be good even though you don't push others off the track, if you do it nice and fair and hard, there still can be good respect.

"Obviously Turn 3 was a bit on the limit, [Lewis] didn't leave much room, and next time like in Turn 2, where I lost, I'll think differently. But we both still have the respect, and we know the limits."

It has been reported that stewards have been instructed to err on the side of letting the drivers race in tight situations after Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen's duel in Austria, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the contact between Leclerc and Bottas in the opening lap in Hungary was a different matter.

"I am in favour [of relaxing rules] but in the case of Bottas I'm not sure," Wolff said.

"Is it right not to punish someone if it ends up breaking the wing of a rival during the duel? The images taken from Vettel's Ferrari are clear. Anyway it's gone."

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