Bottas takes responsibility for Hungary start chaos

Date published: August 1 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas accepted the blame for a multi-car pile-up at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix which eliminated several drivers.

On a wet and slippery track, Bottas got his braking all wrong at the start, steaming into the back of McLaren’s Lando Norris on the approach to Turn 1, having been passed by the Briton off the line.

That contact sent Norris into the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, causing serious bodywork damage to the RB16B, while Bottas then collided with the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

The end result was DNFs for Bottas, Norris and Perez, while Verstappen could only manage a P10 finish, which is provisional with Sebastian Vettel’s post-race disqualification now under appeal.

It meant that after the race there were a fair few upset drivers, and Bottas understood that frustration, accepting that the crash was his fault.

“I think it’s fair enough,” Bottas said when told by Sky F1 that the other drivers involved were blaming him.

“I had a bad start, a lot of wheelspin so lost the momentum, Lando got ahead of me and I was right behind him braking into Turn 1.

“And I think I misjudged the braking points, I wasn’t expecting to lock the wheels.

“It also felt like they braked quite early, but I was the one behind and I was responsible for in the end hitting Lando and that meant that he then took a lot of people off in front of him.

“So it’s not great for me and not great for others.”

View the latest Valtteri Bottas merchandise via the official Formula 1 store

This is the second time in as many races that Verstappen has been wiped out by a Mercedes, and team boss Toto Wolff issued an apology to Red Bull for Bottas’ “small mistake”.

โ€œI completely understand the feelings, all I can do is to take it on us,โ€ he said.

โ€œIt was a small mistake being too late on the brakes, and took out Lando and the two Red Bulls.

โ€œItโ€™s not how things should go, but in the rain it can be quite tricky. I think he [Bottas] got sandwiched and then at the moment he closed [in], they braked a tiny bit later.

โ€œAs I said itโ€™s a small mistake that caused such a big accident, costing them a lot of points, and a possible two cars on the podium, so we are sorry for that.โ€

Bottas was handed a five-place grid penalty for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix as a result of the crash.