Valtteri Bottas apologized to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez in person for taking them out of the Hungarian Grand Prix at the start of the race.
Norris, Perez and Max Verstappen had all jumped Bottas after the Finn made a poor start in wet conditions, and the Mercedes driver then ran into the back of Norris under braking for Turn 1. Norris clattered into Verstappen – who suffered severe damage and was eventually classified ninth – while Bottas took out Perez, earning himself a five-place grid penalty for the incident.
“Obviously my mistake, I was the one coming from behind and then you need to brake early enough,” Bottas said. “But I misjudged it, which shows that things are not so easy to predict on those conditions. I should have braked early because when I started to brake I was closing in, I locked wheels, I hit Lando and that caused the whole mess, so my misjudgment, my mistake.
“Yes (I apologized), it was clear I started the Turn 1 mess at the front and I told them it was my bad and they know I’m not trying to take anyone else out. That’s what I do – I accept it was my mistake.”
Norris got a run on Bottas because of the poor getaway for the Mercedes, but even though he says he was slightly disorientated once the McLaren chopped in front of him Bottas says he should have reacted better.
“You lose a little bit the sense of where you are in relation to Turn 1 but, you know, that’s racing and I should have braked early.
“I hit the clutch target for the intermediate tires, as I should, but I still got wheel spin. I think I lost some tire temperature on the formation lap, so that’s something we need to review because, obviously that’s what caused all the mess, but that’s done.”
It was my bad today. Misjudged the braking for T1 in the damp conditions which ended my + many others race.
Learn from it. And recharge for the 2nd half!
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) August 1, 2021
Bottas was unable to speak to Verstappen at the time as the Red Bull driver was still in the race, but after receiving the grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix he says he had no complaints.
“I have to take it and obviously it’s not ideal. At least in the next race it’s possible to overtake, so it’s not like the weekend is over, but it will make it more difficult. That’s the decision and it is what it is.”