until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Bottas did ‘great job for Mercedes’ with error – Horner

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
4 min read

Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner says Valtteri Bottas did a “great job for Mercedes in taking out both of our cars” in the Hungarian Grand Prix, though stressed he didn’t think it was intentional.

Aug 02 : Hungarian Grand Prix review

Bottas caused a huge mess at the start of Sunday’s Hungaroring race when, after a bad start, he misjudged his braking into Turn 1 and rear-ended the McLaren of Lando Norris.

As the McLaren smashed into the side of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, taking it out of second place, Bottas careered into the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

Max Verstappen Valtteri Bottas Hungarian GP F1 start crash

Verstappen continued with a heavily damaged car and was only able to finish 10th on the road while Perez had to stop later round the first lap as the damage meant his Honda engine lost all water.

Horner said: “That’s the brutality of racing, isn’t it? I think that, unfortunately, you saw Valtteri make a poor start, he’s misjudged his braking and he’s done a great job for Mercedes in taking out both of our cars.

“A significant amount of damage, it cost another engine with Sergio and obviously Max was then hugely compromised.

“I have to say the mechanics worked wonders to get their car running again, just to get some of the pipes straight on it for the fluids was an incredible response.”

Bottas was also eliminated on the spot but team-mate Lewis Hamilton went on to finish third, after recovering from Mercedes’ error in not pitting him for the race restart after the red flag Bottas caused.

That, combined with Red Bull’s miserable day, launched Hamilton and Mercedes to the top of both championships.

Sergio Perez Red Bull F1 Hungarian GP

Horner twice made a dry remark about how Bottas had helped Mercedes during his post-race written media call, making another comment in which he said he’d done a “good job” for his team.

But this is a reflection of the consequences rather than an insinuation of an act of intent, and Horner had already stated Mercedes would not have instructed Bottas to do that.

In an earlier television interview with Sky Sports F1, Horner had asked “Is he going to pay the bill?” when asked if Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had apologised.

Pressed on whether he accepted the apology: “Look, it’s racing, Toto wasn’t driving the car, his driver was driving the car.

Max Verstappen Red Bull F1 Hungarian GP

“I’m sure he didn’t tell him to crash into Red Bull.

“I’m sure he wasn’t that sorry to see the result, but I’m sure he didn’t tell Valtteri to do that.”

It is the second race in a row that Red Bull has been left to count the cost – financially and in a sporting sense – of a run-in with Mercedes.

Verstappen crashed out of the British Grand Prix after being hit by Hamilton on the opening lap, and needed a new engine in Hungary after his previous one developed a crack following the Silverstone shunt.

Perez’s engine is also said to be unlikely to return to service after the Hungary mess.

Red Bull’s ire is therefore fuelled by both the championship consequences and also the difficulty of reacting to expensive crashes under the restrictions of F1’s new-for-2021 budget cap.

Sergio Perez Max Verstappen Hungarian GP F1 Red Bull

“We’ve got a shed load of accident damage, and potentially two engines that we’ve lost due to the actions of other drivers,” said Horner.

“So yeah, very frustrating. But you know what, we’re within the difference of a first and second place in points differences, we go into the summer break, we’ve had some hugely bad luck the last couple of races.

“It’s been pretty brutal in damage and parts and engines but we’ll brush ourselves down and we will come out fighting for the second half of this championship.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks. But things can turn around very quickly, as you’ve just seen, and there’s a long way to go in the championship.”

As for Bottas, he was given a five-place grid penalty for the next race in Belgium. Like with Hamilton’s 10-second penalty for causing the collision with Verstappen in Britain, Red Bull believes it is an inadequate punishment.

“Unfortunately if it’s a track like this one, it’s obviously a bit more consequential,” said Horner.

“A track like Spa I would think he’ll be back in position by the end of the second lap.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks