Valtteri Bottas says a lock-up into the first corner snowballed into the first lap “mess” he endured during Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Bottas made a fast-start and looked to challenge polesitter Max Verstappen for the lead into Turn 1, but locked up and lost momentum coming out of the corner, enabling Hamilton to pounce with a bold manoeuvre around the outside of Turn 3.

The Mercedes pair made slight contact, before a further brush followed on the run to Turn 4 with Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, resulting in damage to Bottas’ front wing. The Finn ultimately pitted for a new nose and fell to the back of the field, before recovering to a lowly eighth on a two-stop strategy.

“It was tough, not what I expected, obviously far from it,” Bottas told Sky Sports F1.

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

Asked if there was anything he could have done differently, Bottas replied: “Turn 1 I had a lock up and that was my mistake.

“I was trying to brake as late and as hard as I could. I was trying to get to the outside of Max but got a bit of a nick there with the lock-up on the front right, and with the flatspots I gained a bit of understeer in the left hand corners.

“So in the middle of Turn 2 already I had some understeer and that made it tricky for Turn 3 when Lewis came and Charles came, and we had the contacts and lost a big piece of front wing.”

Bottas said he struggled to see Leclerc coming in his mirrors but was expecting an attack from behind after a poor corner exit out of Turn 3.

“I couldn’t really see him coming, I struggled to see him in the mirrors so that made it a bit more tricky,” he explained.

“I knew I had a bit run coming out of the corner so I knew somebody could be coming but it happened pretty quick.”

Bottas’ difficult day, combined with an eighth victory of the season for Hamilton, means he has fallen 62 points behind his teammate in the championship heading into F1’s summer break.



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