Bottas and Wolff clarify ‘wingman’ comments

Mae Harvey
August 2, 2018

Hamilton will head into the sport's month-long summer break 24 points ahead of the Ferrari driver following his flawless win in Hungary on Sunday.

He dropped a place at the start to teammate Sebastian Vettel but said beating race victor Lewis Hamilton was always going to be tough after Mercedes outqualified Ferrari on Saturday.

Kimi Raikkonen also overtook Bottas and the Finn finished fifth behind Daniel Ricciardo following a smash when the Red Bull driver tried to pass him on the inside at turn one with three laps to go. I was just talking about his race.

With Bottas on his worst winless run since joining Mercedes, relationships at the Silver Arrows will need to be managed closely. But I was next to him on the inside, I had no half of my front wing so I was locking up as well.

"But the end result, doesn't really feel like a happy finish". "I don't believe there is ever a time when you think you have got your hand on the title. In the end it was a good result for us", Ricciardo said.

Bottas, who lost part of his front wing, dropped to fifth after a late collision with Daniel Ricciardo, who overtook the Finn on the final lap in his second shot at the wounded Mercedes vehicle.

"Obviously Lewis's information [in the first stint], they don't call us and say "our tyres still look good - you can come in earlier".

In clear air, Vettel pushed to extend his lead to more than 12 seconds by lap 36, with Bottas further adrift and, in turn, ahead of Raikkonen by just 1.2 seconds.

"We thought in theory we should have been able to do that one stop".

Vettel's second place minimised the damage in the championship, as his main rival and points leader Lewis Hamilton claimed a comfortable victory.

Mercedes, however have insisted that Bottas is not their No.2 driver after Toto Wolff claimed he had been the flawless wingman to Hamilton in Hungary.

But with his negotiations with Red Bull continuing to drag on, Ferarri's interest could be reignited.

"We have won five races, we are ahead of the Ferraris which eight-nine races in really turned up the heat, and to come away with two [consecutive] wins is a great show of strength in depth". But Stoffel Vandoorne had a power failure with about 20 laps to go leaving Birthday boy Alonso out on his own.

"I really could only have dreamed that we would be in the position that we are in right now", he admitted. Honestly I'm really happy because we knew that with Toro Rosso, two, three times in the year you have big opportunities like this where the vehicle works better than expected, things come your way.

"Last year we lost the championship in the second half of the year because our auto wasn't quick enough, but I am quite confident that we can improve", a spirited Vettel said.

He said: 'Valtteri's race was the flawless wingman's race, and I don't mean in championship terms.

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