Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas had another ‘hit’ moment in the 2018 Formula 1 season, this time in Hungarian Grand Prix.
The two had come together on Lap 1 of the French Grand Prix earlier, but in Hungary, the two made contact while battling for track position on Lap 64. The German was behind to make the move on the Finn.
He tried to go around the outside in Turn 1 at Hungaroring but it didn’t work. He went for a switchback and had a better traction into the entry of Turn 2 to still go around the outside and make the move stick to take second.
However, once he was ahead, he turned in to take the left-hander when Bottas’ front end clipped the rear left of Vettel. Fortunately for the German, he could continue on to finish second and limit the damage with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton winning.
But Bottas lost out to Kimi Raikkonen soon and later on had the tangle with Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo to drop to fifth – along with a 10-second time penalty and penalty points on his superlicense.
The stewards investigated the Vettel and Bottas collision but deemed it to be a racing incident, with the German also not blaming the Finn. “I wasn’t sure,” he started. “Obviously I felt all of a sudden that I got hit from behind.
“I think for him there wasn’t really anywhere to go, I was ahead and then when you are so close to another car. I don’t blame him, I think he had no grip, obviously when you’re so close it’s very difficult to stop the car and I think he locked up and we made contact.
“For me, I realised straight away that I had a much better run, my rears were in better shape, I got the inside track out of turn one and I had DRS so I was quite comfortable into turn two.
“And knowing that I’d got him and I wanted to make sure that I don’t overshoot the braking but as I said, as soon as I hit the brakes and a little bit later, about when I turned in, I felt the contact from behind.
“I checked in the mirrors, I saw he was there and then obviously I was lucky that I could catch the car and also lucky with the contact that I didn’t get a puncture, so the team told me straight away that the tyres look fine.
“Then I had a feel but the car was fine until the end.” On Bottas side, he said: “He had a good run into turn two. We had a bit of a battle in turn one. I still had my nose inside into turn two. He was on the outside.
“He turned in very early for me and for me there was nowhere to go. We touched and I was the only one who got damaged. Fair enough, I think racing incident.” The Finn ended up in a small controversy with his team, but it all was cleared soon.