Norris: Bottas needs to 'learn a bit more' about pack racing - The Race
Formula 1

Norris: Bottas needs to ‘learn a bit more’ about pack racing

Aug 2 2021
By Scott Mitchell

Lando Norris says frontrunners like Valtteri Bottas need to “learn a little bit more” about racing in the pack, after the Mercedes driver’s costly error at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Aug 02 : Hungarian Grand Prix review

Bottas lost control behind Norris under braking for the first corner in damp conditions at the Hungaroring, hitting the McLaren from behind and sending Norris skittling into Max Verstappen while Bottas subsequently clattered the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

Hungarian GP start crash Max Verstappen Lando Norris Valtteri Bottas Sergio Perez F1

Verstappen and Norris made it back to the pits with damaged cars as the race was red-flagged but Norris was forced to retire with extensive damage.

Norris said it is “not easy” to judge the grip in those conditions but made it clear he had no sympathy for Bottas in that situation.

“All of us are in Formula 1 for a reason,” said Norris. “We are all good drivers and we know where to brake, where to judge braking zones and so on.

“Especially when it’s wet. Especially when on the first lap of the race.

“But obviously some misjudged it completely, so that’s the annoying thing, you expect a little bit more from when you are racing those top guys at the front of the field.

“They don’t race that often, they are always quite on their own and not in the pack getting in dirty air as much as we are, so maybe they just don’t experience it and they need to learn a little bit more.”

Hungarian GP F1 start crash Lando Norris

Bottas said he was “possibly a little bit” distracted by Norris cutting in ahead of him after being mugged by the McLaren on the inside as “you lose a little bit the sense of where you actually are at Turn 1”.

He also said it is hard to judge the grip in those conditions especially right behind another car but took full responsibility for the error and said “I should have braked earlier”.

“Obviously it was my mistake, I was the one coming from behind,” said Bottas.

“It’s up to me to brake early enough but I misjudged the braking point. It shows it’s not so easy in those conditions to predict but I should have braked earlier.

“I was closing in and locked the wheels and hit Lando and that caused the whole mess.”

Valtteri Bottas F1 Mercedes Hungarian GP

Bottas apologised to Norris and Perez after the race but Norris said that meant little because it changed nothing about his race.

Having jumped Bottas and fought Perez for third place into the first corner after “one of the best” starts of his career, Norris was likely setting himself up for another strong result in a stellar season.

Instead, his 100% point-scoring record this season was ended through no fault of his own, while his 15-race point-scoring streak ended as well.

“It’s frustrating, I guess, a little bit for our morale, for the motivation of everyone,” Norris admitted.

“You just want to enter it [the summer break] strong so everyone is happy and energised and everything.

Lando Norris McLaren F1 Hungarian GP

“When I’m into third of course everyone is happy and then you’re out of the race and everyone’s happiness goes away.

“But we also know it’s not our fault. We did everything, we had a good weekend, I was into third place, but yeah because of none of our faults, we are out of the race.

“I don’t think we can get so annoyed about it. We have to keep our heads high and just focus on the next one.”

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