Verstappen involved in Turn One crash as five drivers forced out of Hungarian Grand Prix

By Sports Desk August 01, 2021

The Hungarian Grand Prix began in chaotic fashion as five drivers crashed out on Turn One, with championship leader Max Verstappen also heavily affected.

Verstappen was forced to retire early after a collision with Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix, which the Mercedes driver went on to win.

Red Bull were unhappy with the penalty handed out to Hamilton, who made contact with Verstappen at Copse Corner at Silverstone two weeks ago.

This time, it was Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas who was clearly at fault on a wet and greasy first turn at the Hungaroring.

He failed to time his braking, clipping Lando Norris, who in turn span into both Red Bulls, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc also caught up in the chaos. 

Verstappen had been in third but slumped down to ninth before heading into the pits and dropping a further four places before the red flag was raised due to debris on the track.

His team-mate Sergio Perez could not continue, with Leclerc, Bottas and Lance Stroll all out of the race.

"I think basically Bottas made a big mistake and took everyone out of the race, it's a big shame. It's a massive loss for us as a team," Perez told Sky Sports.

"I don't know what to say. It's a big mistake, we will leave it up to them [the race stewards]."

Hamilton, who is hunting his 100th F1 race win after clinching pole, escaped unscathed with his lead intact, with the pause to the race at least giving Red Bull the chance to repair Verstappen's car.

However, McLaren were unable to get Norris – who was on a 15-race streak of finishing in the points and had made a fantastic start – back on the track, making it five out of the race in total.

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  • Another grid penalty for Hamilton 'could be worth taking', says Wolff Another grid penalty for Hamilton 'could be worth taking', says Wolff

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has explained why Lewis Hamilton was forced to replace his engine and take a grid penalty on Sunday, refusing to rule out a repeat before the end of the season.

    The Briton's 10-place penalty after topping qualifying contributed to a fifth-place finish at the Turkish Grand Prix, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas winning and title rival Max Verstappen finishing second to move six points clear of Hamilton in the championship standings.

    However, Wolff revealed that the team felt they had no choice but to take a new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) due to issues with Hamilton's previous power unit.

    He insisted there had been no tactical timing to the decision, which was needed for technical reasons.

    "We had to do it," Wolff told Sky Sports. "We saw some data on the Internal Combustion unit that didn't look very promising and a DNF is a total killer for the championship.

    "We've seen over the course of the season that we've had some little gremlins that we weren't completely sure where they came from and how much performance they could potentially cost.

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    "I think we understand much better now where the root cause lies and it's something that can happen from time to time if you just have a material issue, a batch problem and these are the things you need to consider."

    The replacement power unit was Hamilton's fourth of the season, but Wolff suggested that it was not beyond the realms of possibility that he would be forced to take a fifth before the end of the campaign.

    "The fourth one can last until the end of the season but there could be a moment where we say is it worth taking a fresh one because the other one is still at risk," Wolff continued.

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    There are six races to go in the 2021 Formula One season, a run that starts with the United States Grand Prix - an event Hamilton has won a record six times - on October 24.

  • Hamilton denies being 'furious' with Mercedes as he vows to learn from Turkish GP pit call Hamilton denies being 'furious' with Mercedes as he vows to learn from Turkish GP pit call

    Lewis Hamilton has denied being "furious" with Mercedes over the decision to pull him in for a pit stop late on in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

    The seven-time world champion had climbed from 11th in the grid to third when called by his team to switch onto intermediate tyres on the wet surface.

    Hamilton seemed determined to finish the race on the same tyres, but on lap 51 out of 58 the Briton heeded his team's call and dropped to fifth, where he finished the race.

    He made his apparent frustration clear at the time, saying over the team radio: "Why did you give up that place? We shouldn't have come in."

    However, Hamilton feels the disagreement has been blown out of proportion, even if he accepts lessons can be learned.

    "I've seen some of the press this morning, which has made a bit too much of the incident in yesterday's race of when to pit," he posted on his personal Instagram account.

    "It isn't true to say I'm furious with my team. 

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    Hamilton, who qualified fastest but was handed a 10-place grid penalty due to an engine change, is now six points behind championship leader Max Verstappen.

    Verstappen finished second in Istanbul, with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas claiming victory, and the Dutchman acknowledges Red Bull have a lot more work to do if he is to claim a first Formula One world title.

    "Of course overall I think we have been at tracks that naturally were a bit better for Mercedes, but then this track was a bit unknown, and clearly they were ahead of us," he told Sky Sports.

    "I do think we need to step it up a bit to be in the fight until the end of the season."

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