Max Verstappen says his Red Bull car was “almost impossible” to drive after he was involved in a lap one crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman was hit by Lando Norris at the opening corner, after the McLaren driver was propelled forward following contact from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
It marked the second race in a row that Verstappen has been involved in a lap one incident with a Mercedes, as he clashed with Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone two weeks ago.
Verstappen suffered heavy damage to his right barge board in the incident with Bottas and Norris, but was able to continue in the race.
However, he ran towards the back of the field, and salvaged just a single championship point after crossing the line in tenth.
“Again taken out by a Mercedes, so that’s not what you want,” Verstappen told Sky F1. “From there I was missing my whole side of the car, the whole barge board area.
“The floor was damaged as well, it was almost impossible to drive to be honest. I still tried my very best and I scored one point so it’s at least something. But of course it’s not what you want.
“It’s just disappointing. I know that when we go again after the break, I will there again and try my very best. Of course I hope my car is going to be competitive.”
“It’s a lot of freak moments which have cost us a lot of points. We’ll see, they [Mercedes] are very quick but we’ll never give up, we have to focus on ourselves, we keep pushing. And see where we end up.”
Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez was also involved in the clash with Bottas, and suffered terminal damage as a result.
Verstappen has now lost his championship lead after Hamilton ended the Budapest race in third. The seven-time world champion leads his rival by six points.