Ross Brawn was left disappointed by not being able to see the expected battle between Red Bull and Mercedes in Hungary, after both Red Bulls were effectively taken out of the race at the first corner. With Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas making a mistake into Turn 1 that resulted in both Red Bulls and McLaren's Lando Norris being wiped out, only Verstappen was able to make the restart after a red flag, albeit with heavy damage.
Writing in his column after the race, Ross Brawn believes a great spectacle was taken away from the fans but that it was simply a case of misjudgement from Bottas, and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, that led to the first corner chaos.
"There was the initial frustration of having a tasty battle taken from us with the melee at the first corner," Brawn said.
"We had drivers driving on intermediate tyres for the first time during the weekend on what is a notoriously slippery track.
"In fairness to both Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll, I think they had incidents in front which forced them into action and they simply couldn’t respond in time. I don’t think it was a case of a massive misjudgement.
"It robbed us of something we were all looking forward to – Mercedes versus Red Bull. For Red Bull to have one and a half cars out of the race would have been pretty galling for them I imagine."
Referring back to his Ferrari days with Michael Schumacher, Brawn was able to point to when he found his team in the same situation as Red Bull are in now. In 2000, Schumacher's championship aspirations were dealt a big blow as he was taken out at the Austrian and German Grand Prix at the first corner.
"I’ve been in the situation Red Bull find themselves in now, where you lose a substantial gap in the championship standings because of reliability or accidents. I remember that happening a few times at Ferrari," Brawn said.
"When you don’t finish, that really hurts, because it’s where you get these massive swings in points. Sure, Max finished, but he only just scraped into the points, while Checo’s race was over on the first lap.
I’m not sure who would have been the most competitive in the race – it looked like it would have been close. Maybe Mercedes had a slight edge. You get these swings in championships. If we have another half season like this after the break, we are in for a cracker."
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