Hungarian Grand Prix: First-lap incident takes Bottas, Norris, Leclerc, Perez and Stroll out of race

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Esteban Ocon won his first ever Formula One race on Sunday after an incident on the first lap took Valtteri Bottas, Lando Norris, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Charles Leclerc out of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Bottas, second on the grid, got off to a slow start and was overtaken by Max Verstappen and Norris.

Bottas, whose Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole at the Hungaroring, rear-ended Norris, who cannoned into championship leader Verstappen.

Red Bull’s Perez, Ferrari’s Leclerc and Aston Martin’s Stroll were caught up in the incident on the first turn and their cars could not continue, while Verstappen dropped down the order to 13th and a red flag was waved.

Norris, who had fallen to 15th but managed to continue driving, made it into the pit. His car was then retired by McLaren, however, marking the first time this season that the 21-year-old has not secured a points finish.

Once the race resumed, all of the remaining drivers pitted except defending champion Hamilton, who was alone in making a standing start.

Bottas (front-centre) collides with Perez (front-right) (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Bottas (front-centre) collides with Perez (front-right) (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Briton, who has won the race eight times and triumphed last year, dropped to last place as Ocon of Alpine established a lead, with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel second.

Nikita Mazepin, meanwhile, was clipped in the pit lane by Kimi Raikkonen and became the sixth driver to be taken out of the grand prix.

Hamilton soon overtook Antonio Giovinazzi, who moments later received a 10-second stop-go for speeding in the pits amid the restart, and even got past Vestappen’s damaged car while climbing to fifth.

All the while, former champion Fernando Alonso overtook Alpine teammate Ocon for an unlikely and shortlived lead.

The 40-year-old soon dropped off while Ocon remained out in front, and a lengthy battle between Alonso and a determined Hamilton ensued.

Hamilton came out on top and then fought past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in a thrilling sequence, taking third place in the process for a spot on the podium.

Vettel secured second for Aston Martin, while Ocon achieved his first ever F1 race win.

After the final lap, Vettel told his team via radio: “Ah man, I tried, I tried, I tried the whole race. Following is so difficult. Sorry, guys.”

The first-lap incident was the second in a row on an opening lap, following Verstappen’s crash during the British Grand Prix.

The Dutch-Belgian and title rival Hamilton were involved in a coming-together at Silverstone earlier this month, resulting in Verstappen crashing out of the race, which Hamilton went on to win.

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