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2018 F1

‘It hurts to be called Hamilton’s wingman’, says angry Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas was hurt by a tag made by his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff following the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Wolff commented a “sensational wingman” following team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Hungarian GP.

Almost whole part of the race Bottas, stayed on second place and defended well ahead of Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, protecting the Brit from the Ferrari fighter towards the end.

But the end of race, the Finn was overtaking by Ferrari duo, also he is not happy with Wolff’s comments, and it was made worse by the fact he dropped from P2 to P5 in the final five laps.

Team boss Wolff said: “It wasn’t realistic for us to win. It is one of our weakest tracks. We expected damage limitation, rather than taking the points.

“It feels a little bitter-sweet. I’m really happy for Lewis. I just feel sad for Valtteri. He deserved P2 because he was such a sensational wingman. That would’ve been nice.”

“Well, first of all, wingman hurts,” he said.

“Second, I don’t see any positives in this race for me. It was a disappointing result. We had to pit early to cover Kimi (Raikkonen). Still, 20 laps before the end, I was feeling ok.

“We could control the pace, but then the rear tyres started to go and I tried to defend as best I could and, in the end, I just ended up being a mess with a broken car.”

Bottas added that he wanted to discuss his perceived role as a ‘wingman’ in the team, or as a driver to be used tactically to help Hamilton’s bid for a fifth world title.

“We need to speak after this race. For this half of the year, the points gap is very big.”

He was candid about his collisions with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo on Sunday.

“With Sebastian, he had a good run in Turn Two. I still had my nose inside and he was on the outside. He turned in early and there was nowhere to go. I was the only one damaged, which was fair enough.

“With Daniel, it was a similar thing. I was next to him on the inside and I was locking up, but he still turned in and then we touched.”

“Vettel, who finised second behind Hamilton, said: “His tyres were getting worse and worse and I was quite confident I could get him. When I was hit, from behind, I was not sure what had happened. I was lucky the car was not broken and I could carry on.”

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