Bottas: My race was “a bit of a mess”

Hungaroring, Budapest

Hungarian Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas was left to rue an opening lap which dictated the outcome of his race, with the Mercedes driver taking eighth place.

After starting the race from second place on the grid, a clumsy first few corners meant he ended the opening lap requiring a change of front wing.

After locking up into turn one and running both himself and team-mate Lewis Hamilton slightly wide, he then made the same error into turn two, which allowed Hamilton to overtake around the outside, before confirming the position change at turn three.

Losing momentum, Bottas then lost a position to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with whom he made contact and damaged his front wing.

After the contact was made, he lost performance and lost a position to Sebastian Vettel. The lack of pace prompted a pit stop on lap five, after which he spent the race recovering to finish in eighth.

“It was tough, not what I expected, far from it,” said Bottas after the race.

“After the first lap incidents, it was a bit of a mess and I knew it was going to be tricky. I tried everything I could, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Bottas took the blame for the errors, explaining the sequences of events that forced the pit stop.

“Turn one, I had a lock-up, that was my mistake, I was trying to brake as hard and as late as I could. I was trying to get to the outside of Max, but there was a bit of a nip there on the front-right.

“With the flat-spots, I gained a bit of understeer in the left-hand corners. So, in turn two I already had some understeer and that made it tricky for turn three.

“Lewis and Charles came past, I had the contact and I lost a big piece of front wing.”

As a result, Bottas is now 72 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton, and just six points ahead of Max Verstappen.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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