Valtteri Bottas admits that it was his misjudgement that caused the huge incident at Turn 1 on the opening lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver had a poor start in the damp conditions and then got his braking point wrong, which caused him to lock up and hit the back of Lando Norris in the McLaren. Norris then knocked the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. The race was red-flagged and Norris and Perez were both forced to retire, whilst Verstappen continued but struggled due to remaining damage on his car.
Bottas later received a five-place grid penalty and is willing to take the blame for what happened.
“Obviously it’s my mistake,” the Finn told the media. “I was the one coming from behind, and it’s up to me to brake early enough, but I misjudged the braking point.
“It shows it’s not so easy in those conditions to predict, but I should have braked earlier because when I started braking I was closing in, and then I locked the wheels and I hit Lando. That caused the whole mess, so [it was] a misjudgement and my mistake.”
Bottas is accepting of the penalty that he was given, which will be taken at the next race in Belgium following the summer break.
“I’ll take it,” Lewis Hamilton’s teammate said. “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.
“It’s going to make it more difficult, but that’s the decision. That’s what it is.”
Given the impact of what happened on Norris and Perez’s races, Bottas apologised to them and wanted to make it clear that he was not blaming anybody else for the incident.
“It was clear that I started the Turn 1 mess at the front,” Bottas explained. “I said it was my bad, so they know that I’m not trying to blame anyone else.
“So that’s what I do, I accept the mistake.”