Max Verstappen felt that his Hungarian Grand Prix was “super difficult” following a first lap collision as he battled back to finish ninth.
With damp track conditions following a shower just 30 minutes before the start of the race, Verstappen made a strong start to move into second but Valtteri Bottas struck Lando Norris’ McLaren from behind into the first corner.
Norris consequently slid across into Verstappen to send both drivers dropping down the order with the Brit retiring during the resulting red flag, whilst Verstappen praised his Red Bull mechanics for their efforts to get his car fixed in time for the restart.
Explaining how damaged his car was throughout the race, Verstappen said: “The mechanics did what they could to get me back in the race but I was carrying a lot of damage on the car after the incident and it was super difficult to drive with, there was a lot of oversteer and understeer from the downforce loss.”
Verstappen however recovered to finish tenth on the road prior to Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification post-race lifting him to ninth, although he lost the championship lead after Lewis Hamilton finished second,
The 23 year-old however was reflective of his result, commenting that he “was incredibly lucky to continue after the crash so it was a surprise to score a point at all which is still important.”
Hungary however marked round 11 of 23 scheduled rounds with Verstappen feeling that despite enduring “two very unlucky races”, the drivers’ title isn’t lost because of the “long season.”
Sergio Perez meanwhile was instantly eliminated in his collision with Bottas with the Mexican describing the incident as “unbelievable” and one which feels like “a massive blow” for Red Bull’s constructor title aspirations.
Perez has also reviewed the replays in order to understand what happened and felt that “Bottas made a big mistake and braked too late into Turn 1 which took out a lot of cars including me and caused bad damage to Max’s car.”
Bottas post race apologised to Perez with the Mexican feeling that his apology doesn’t disguises the difficult result for Red Bull despite being of no malice, citing that “the large amount of damage ended our race and opportunity for points.”
Team Principal, Christian Horner echoed Perez’s feelings by describing the incident as “enormously frustrating” with Perez out on the spot whilst Verstappen suffered “substantial amount of damage” to the right side of his car which limited his potential for a fightback for victory.
Horner though praised Verstappen for his spirit as he fought back from “extensive damage and downforce losses” to claim a top ten finish, which he believes could be “vital” come end of season in settling both championships.
The 47 year-old however isn’t happy from a financial perspective given the $145m cost cap in place and the fact that Verstappen suffered heavy damage in two consecutive races, whilst Perez’s power unit might be beyond salvageable and necessitate a new power unit for Belgium at end of August.
Horner meanwhile was reflective of the fact that there are positives to take into the summer break, having “achieved six victories with the most competitive chassis and power unit package we have had for years and the whole team is fully motivated.”