The Hungarian Grand Prix was a race (or 100m) to forget for Valtteri Bottas. He made a rather costly mistake, locking his breaks and taking out several competitors, including the two Red Bull Racing cars. It’s safe to say that RBR Team Principal, Christian Horner, has not yet forgiven the Mercedes man.
After a lock-up caused Bottas to wipe out his closest rivals, he was handed a 5-place grid penalty for the Belgium GP. A punishment that has left Christian Horner less than impressed.
“Great strategy from Mercedes,” he told Auto Bild. “Valtteri did a great job for them by knocking out both of our cars.
“He gets the penalty for the next race, but he makes up for that in two laps at Spa, It’s not a real punishment.
It [the grid penalty] doesn’t repair the damage he did to us,” Horner continued, “especially when you look at the budget cap. The effects are immense, the costs are brutal. The first impressions indicate that Perez’s engine is no longer operational either. It’s very frustrating, also for Honda, because it doesn’t come from reliability, but from accidents that we did not cause.”
There are also question marks surrounding the engines in Lando Norris’ McLaren, Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. As well, of course, as Sergio Perez.
The FIA penalty system works in a way that could actually end up benefitting Bottas. They apply the penalty that was given first, first. So Bottas’ 5 place will be applied before the engine penalites. As such, after his penalty is applied, there is a very strong chance that’ll he’ll climb back up the starting grid, and start in a strong position. Make sense? If not, be sure to tune in to the ‘Cut to the Race’ podcast, news round-up show released tomorrow, where this process will be explained in much more detail.
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Image: Mark Thompson, Getty images
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