Hungarian GP winner Lewis Hamilton has heaped praise on Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas for the “key role” he played in the Briton’s latest F1 win.
F1: Hamilton praises Bottas’ “key” contribution in Hungarian GP victory
Lewis Hamilton has praised the “key role” Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Valtteri Bottas played in his Hungarian Grand Prix victory.
Hamilton converted pole position – which he secured with a brilliant lap in wet-weather conditions – into his sixth win at the Hungaroring and his fifth victory of the season to head into F1’s summer break 24 points clear of chief title rival Sebastian Vettel.
But Hamilton took to social media after the race to acknowledge the contribution Bottas had made, after the Finn turned in a spirited defensive drive to hold off the Ferrari pair headed by Vettel until the closing stages of the race, crucially enabling Hamilton to open up a gap over the field.
“I would like to give praise and thanks to Valtteri Bottas. Without his great drive the team may not have won today, would have been very tight at the end,” Hamilton said in a post on his Instagram story.
“But thanks to his fight he helped enable us to come away with three more points as a team than Ferrari. Don’t forget, the priority for the team is to win the race and the team championship.
“So he played a key role. As for me, he ultimately helped me in being supportive as a teammate which I want to acknowledge. Huge respect between us.”
Bottas ultimately dropped to fifth after clashing with Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, and held onto the position despite receiving a 10-second time penalty for the latter incident. The result meant Mercedes outscored Ferrari by two points, with just 10 points separating the teams in the constructors’ standings with nine rounds remaining.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also heaped praise on Bottas, referring to him as a “sensational wingman”, with the Finn admitting he was hurt by the comments. Wolff has since moved to clarify his remark.