The opening lap of the Hungarian GP saw 5 cars eliminated due to damage even before the race started. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas misjudged his braking point going into Turn 1 and as a result, drove into the back of Norris. The pair then hit the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
A red flag was called, but the damage from the incident ended the race for Bottas and Perez. While Lando managed to reach back to the pit lane with the other cars, the team had to retire the car from the damage.
Bottas admits that it was his misjudgment that caused the huge incident at Turn 1. Since then the Mercedes driver has been handed a five-place grid penalty when the season resumes in Belgium at the end of August. The Finn has also been handed two penalty points.
Bottas accepted the penalty that he was given, which will be taken at the next race in Belgium following the summer break. “I’ll take it. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but at least in the next race it is possible to overtake, so it’s not like the weekend is over.
Bottas takes out the Red Bull’s
Max Verstappen’s car also suffered extensive damage with a whole part of the left bargeboard missing. But Red Bull still sent out the car to try and salvage something out of the race. Verstappen was half a second slower due to the damage but still managed to collect 2 points from the race.
It was the second time in 2 races that a Mercedes – Red Bull collision has happened. As a result, Red Bull has collected just 2 points in the past two races. Intentional or racing incident, Red Bull boss Christian Horner was definitely not happy about it.
“Very frustrating but you know what, we’re within the difference a first and second place in points difference as we go into the summer break,” Horner said. “We’ve had some hugely bad luck the last couple of races. It’s been pretty brutal in damage and parts and engines.
“But we’ll brush ourselves down and come out fighting for the second half of this championship, because, you know. Obviously it’s been a tough couple of weeks, but things can turn around very quickly as you’ve just seen.”
Lando’s 15-race streak of points ends
McLaren’s Lando Norris saw his record of points at every race this season come to an end. He made a great start to the race and overtook Bottas from the outside. But going into turn 1 he could not do anything to avoid the crash.
“There’s not much to say is there?” Norris told Formula1.com. “It’s not my fault, like, to be honest he [Bottas] just came over to me then and apologised – but apologies are nice, but it doesn’t change the result or anything.
“It’s Lap 1 of the race, no one has to do anything stupid but that’s what they did today. So just ruined it.It was probably one of my best starts that I’ve done into third place,” Norris explained. “Then such a small touch in the braking zone can have such a big effect just because you’re braking so on the limit, the grip’s so low, one small increase in speed and everything’s gone.
“Obviously Bottas outbraked himself and hit me then I was a passenger all the way into Max. It sucks but nothing I can do at the end of the day. My job was very good, it was a very good start and I did everything I needed to do.”
There were DNF’s for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll to add to the chaos at turn 1. Lance made a huge error going into the corner and went straight in to the Ferrari ending the race for both drivers.