Hamilton and Wolff praise ‘great team member’ Bottas after crucial role in British GP win
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff praised Valtteri Bottas, both saying the Silver Arrows would not have won the British Grand Prix without the Finn’s selfless actions in the race to Silverstone.
Bottas finished third after stopping for tires on lap 22 in reaction to Lando Norris’ early pitstop. After his teammate Hamilton came to a stop, Bottas let him pass on lap 39 to allow him to attack race leader Charles Leclerc with newer tires and ultimately secure the victory – which ended a drought of five wins for the Brackley team.
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Hamilton praised his teammate’s actions, saying: “Coming out [after his pit stop], honestly i wasn’t thinking of charles when i got out, it was really trying to see if i could catch the car in front [Norris], just one by one, and obviously I got the McLaren.
“I was chasing Valtteri and it was so gracious today to work so well as a teammate to get me through, so I can run for the win for the team. He’s a great sportsman, I really appreciate him. I couldn’t have done it without Valtteri’s teamwork and the incredible efforts of the team, ”he added.
Team manager Wolff echoed Hamilton’s comments after the British Grand Prix, pointing out that Bottas was the “second fastest driver” on the track while praising his “personality” and “character. ” Sunday.
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“He had a brilliant weekend in my opinion as he could have been on pole if he had had a tow on Friday night, and that obviously had an impact on his performance. If you are on pole it is much easier. And he was really quick today, he had a really solid race and Lewis, coming in from behind on that tough, was just in another dimension for everyone else on the track.
“But Valtteri was the second fastest car and helped Lewis secure the track, and Valtteri is just a great team member and a great driver with the right character and the right personality.”
British Grand Prix 2021: Norris overtakes Bottas at Silverstone restart
But the Mercedes boss has also said Bottas will have to abide by team orders again in the future given that Hamilton is the team’s leader in the Championship, now just eight points behind Max Verstappen in the standings.
“It’s very important because statistically his chances of winning the championship are very low compared to Lewis, who is very involved in wrestling. And we discussed that, and as difficult as it may be for a driver, he there is no room for the sidelines here in this year’s championship, ”concluded Wolff.
Bottas is still awaiting news of his contract and if his future will be with Mercedes after 2021. With George Russell waits backstage, the Finn has a difficult task ahead of him.