Norris on Bottas: ‘Why risk those kind of stupid things?’

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris

Lando Norris calls for "much bigger penalty" for Valtteri Bottas.

Lando Norris felt Valtteri Bottas’ actions at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix were “stupid” after both drivers were eliminated.

Rain started to fall at the Hungaroring shortly before lights out, leaving the drivers with a tricky start to negotiate on intermediate tyres.

It was a task Mercedes’ Bottas was not up to, with the Finn getting his braking all wrong at Turn 1 and slamming into the rear of Norris’ McLaren.

The contact sent Norris ploughing into Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, while Bottas proceeded to clear out Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull, eliminating the Finn and the Mexican from the race.

With the race red-flagged, McLaren had the chance to attempt to repair Norris’ car, but the damage was too severe so the decision was made that the Briton would not take the restart.

That meant his streak of scoring points at every round in 2021 came to an end.

Back in Austria, Norris was given a controversial five-second time penalty after his battle with Perez left the latter driving through gravel, and so he believed Bottas’ actions warranted a far more severe punishment.

And the stewards agreed, handing Bottas a five-place grid penalty for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix.

Speaking to Sky F1 before that penalty for Bottas was confirmed, Norris said: “Not much to say, just annoyed I guess.

“Lap one, I don’t know why that has to happen, why risk doing those kind of stupid things? Nothing I could do, so I don’t know what to say.

“If I get a penalty for not even doing anything wrong on other tracks then this should deserve a much bigger penalty than what I got.

“We’ll see – I hope they have some common sense and do what they should do, but it’s not up to me at the end of the day.”

Perez was also at a loss for words after the crash, disappointed to see his hard work at the start undone having improved a place to P3.

“It’s such a shame, I was already up to third place,” Perez explained.

“I outbraked the McLaren and thought I was well ahead, and unfortunately Bottas did a big mistake and just ruined our race.

“I don’t know what else to say. It was all over. The engine is damaged. He went all the way into the radiator.”