Valtteri Bottas took full responsibility for the early chaos at the Hungarian Grand Prix, which ended his and several other drivers’ races and flipped the race on its head.
Bottas had a slow getaway on the wet track and then missed his braking point at Turn 1, hitting McLaren’s Lando Norris in the process. Norris’ car collected Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Further back, Lance Stroll took evasive action to avoid the chaos ahead and went over Turn 1’s apex, hitting Charles Leclerc in the process.
The incident ended Bottas, Stroll, Norris, Leclerc and Perez’s race on the spot.
The stewards found Bottas and Stroll entirely to blame for their respective collisions and both will serve a five-place grid penalty at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Speaking after the race, Bottas said: “Obviously my mistake, I was the one coming from behind and then you need to brake early enough.
“But I misjudged it, which shows that things are not so easy to predict on those conditions, and 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 misjudgement, my mistake.”
Several hours after the race, Bottas tweeted to reiterate that he was making no excuses.
Bottas apologised to the drivers involved in the pile-up, but Norris said that kind of incident should not be happening in the top tier of motor racing.
“All of us are in Formula One for a reason, because we’re good drivers and we know where to brake, where to judge braking zones and so on, especially when it’s wet, especially on the first lap of the race.”
“But obviously some misjudged it completely. That’s the annoying thing, you expect a little bit more from when you’re racing those top guys at the front of the field.
“But also they don’t race that often, they’re quite on their own, and not in the pack getting in dirty air and things as much as we are. So maybe they just don’t experience it, and they need to learn that a little bit more.”