Lando Norris has received an apology from Valtteri Bottas for the incident that put them both out of the Hungarian Grand Prix, but the British driver admits it is little consolation.
Bottas misjudged his braking point going into Turn 1 and as a result drove into the back of Norris, who then hit the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. The race was red-flagged and, whilst McLaren hoped to be able to keep Norris in the race, the damage to his car meant that he was unable to continue when the Grand Prix was restarted. This means that Norris has now recorded his first DNF of the season.
Following the incident, Bottas openly admitted that he was responsible and received a five-place grid penalty to be taken at the next event. He was also apologetic to Norris, though obviously this could not change the outcome of the 21-year-old's race.
"There’s not much to say is there?" Norris told Formula1.com. "It’s not my fault, like, to be honest he [Bottas] just came over to me then and apologised - but apologies are nice, but it doesn’t change the result or anything.
"It’s Lap 1 of the race, no one has to do anything stupid but that’s what they did today. So just ruined it."
The result is particularly disappointing for Norris as the British driver felt he had made a very strong start from P6 on the grid, given that he had moved up to the leading pack by the first corner.
"It was probably one of my best starts that I’ve done into third place," Norris explained. "Then such a small touch in the braking zone can have such a big effect just because you’re braking so on the limit, the grip’s so low, one small increase in speed and everything’s gone.
"Obviously Bottas outbraked himself and hit me then I was a passenger all the way into Max. It sucks but nothing I can do at the end of the day. My job was very good, it was a very good start and I did everything I needed to do."
It was a difficult day in general for McLaren. Norris' teammate Daniel Ricciardo was also caught up in the chaos on Lap 1 and, whilst he remained in the race, the Australian finished outside of the points in 12th.
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