Valtteri Bottas says he apologized to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas admits the big Hungarian Grand Prix crash was due to his “mistake”, but Toto Wolff says this will not influence the decision on Mercedes’ 2022 line-up.

At the beginning of the Hungarian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas caused a collision which took himself, Lando Norris and Sergio Perez out of the race, while Max Verstappen’s car sustained serious damage.

The Finn was later penalised for the incident with a five-place grid penalty in the next race and two penalty points on his superlicence.

However, Bottas is not hiding from responsibility.

“Obviously my mistake,” Valtteri admitted.

“I was the one coming from behind, and 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 brake, but I should have braked earlier.

“When I started braking I was closing in, and then I locked the wheels and I hit Lando and that caused the whole mess.

“It was hard to judge where to brake. And when I did, I quite quickly noticed it was too late and then after that, there’s nothing you can do.

“Just calculating the braking point, trying to figure out how much grip you have, it’s not easy.”

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The Finn also said he apologized to Norris and Perez for ruining their race.

“I had a poor start with lots of wheelspin off the line, lost a couple of places and then into Turn 1, I was right on the gearbox of Lando and locked the wheels.

“I misjudged the braking point – it’s always difficult starting a race in those conditions, you’re always ‘guesstimating’ grip levels and today I got it wrong.

“I’ve spoken to Lando and Checo to apologise, it was my bad today and sometimes you have to hold your hands up.”

With Bottas’ future with Mercedes beyond 2021 set to be decided over the summer break, team boss Toto Wolff said this incident will not play a part in the decision.

“It doesn’t influence the decision at all,” the Austrian said after the race.

“The mistake was unfortunate with big consequences. He got sandwiched by the two cars in front and lost downforce and then it was already too late.”

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