Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Hamilton willing to give Bottas a win back

2018 Russian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton says he is prepared to hand Valtteri Bottas a victory in return for the one his team mate gave him in today’s Russian Grand Prix.

“I have no problems with that,” said Hamilton when asked if he would consider returning the favour to his team mate.

But he added it may not be necessary. “I don’t think he needs to do that [accept a gifted win]. I think he has the possibility of winning many more races himself. At the end of last year I think he won quite a few.”

Bottas, who finished second after letting Hamilton by, said it would be “more fun if we race for it”

Hamilton said being waved through by Bottas “didn’t feel good” and he never wanted to win through team orders.

“Honestly, when I got the call that they had said that to Valtteri, I don’t know if you heard me but I said ‘just tell him to speed up.’ They told me on the radio: ‘Valtteri is going to let you go,’ which is not what I wanted, and I said: ‘just tell him to speed up,’ because I had Sebastian on my tail, getting quite close.

“So naturally passing him did not feel good in that instant in turn 13, and I didn’t know what was planned for the end. I was waiting to get some news or something like that but I knew that the team wanted it to end that way. If they had made that call, that confirmed to me they wanted it to end that way.

“But honestly, it’s very, very hard to find the right words. It’s very strange feeling. We’ve had a one-two, we’ve dominated as a team this weekend, the team has done an incredible job and it’s obviously never, ever in my whole life been the way I’ve wanted to win a race. I just want to shine it on to Valtteri. There are not many team mates who would do something like that.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

55 comments on “Hamilton willing to give Bottas a win back”

  1. Felt sorry for both Mercedes drivers today. Obviously a lot more for Bottas, but Hamilton looked like he’d just lost as well.

    Hopefully the board back in Stuttgart are happy with how flat and miserable their dominant 1-2 finish was…

    1. It’s a team sport and team management makes the decisions to benefit the team. Mercedes pays the drivers’ and team personnels’ salaries, and the cost of developing, building and running the cars. If Valteri doesn’t like the way management does things he’s free to leave. Ocon would kill to be in Bottas’s position.

      1. I am not sure if the comment was about pity for Bottas, but pity for the sport. Or at least the assumption that drivers should seek personnal achievements within the team structure.

      2. Knowing why they did it doesn’t make it any more pleasing as a fan.

        Nor does it mean they made the right decision. I personally think this has damaged the team (and the brand) more than it has benefitted anyone.

    2. The board in Stuttgart will be chuffed with the 50 point cushion 100%. As the great Lord Cutler Beckett once said, “it’s just good business”.

  2. The only thing worse and more boring in F1 than a dominant team is having them also use team orders!

    Even Ham finishing second/third behind Vet today would have been more than fine today. There was no need to make the sport look even more dull for the sake of a few points which will hardly make any difference to the championship result.

  3. Thanks guys for ruining 2 races for the fans.
    We all know this wasn’t needed.

    1. “But it’s a team sport! You don’t understand!” Doesn’t make it any less boring or frustrating.

    2. My thoughts exactly.

    3. So true. Felt like the bad old Barichello-Schumacher days

  4. Peter Waters (@)
    30th September 2018, 22:49

    That was a bad race for the whole of F1. The guys on the podium looked like the three last place finishers not the first.

  5. That sounds even worse than it seems. Valtteri doesn’t need a win to be gifted. He has the pace to win one for himself, beating everyone else, just like today. Everyone should give their 100% and see who wins in the end. Anything else is even more degrading. I can understand the need for Lewis to win instead of Bottas, but after today, there’s no need to handle the races like this anymore this season.

    1. Very poor Hamilton could have give it back instead of the acting on the podium, the guys a fake

      1. He was waiting for the team to give the order! He is not necessarily fully aware of what is happening behind him.

        I also think that if Vettel had not been so close to Bottas and if they had not been navigating back markers that were making that gap vary between 1.2 and 6 seconds, Merc would have asked them to swap positions and Hamilton would have willingly obliged. Hamilton neither asked to be let past in the first place or refused to give the position back. This was entirely the teams call and had nothing to do with Hamilton. I thought the way he reacted afterwards was exceptional. He told Bottas his feelings about it, he did not celebrate and he pulled Bottas on to the top step to receive his trophy and I think even tried to give him the first place one! I am not sure I have ever seen that by Vettel when Kimi has been told to let him past.

      2. Toto was the one who made that horrible call. Lewis is not the villain here IMHO. On the other hand, the fact it caused such uproar in the very same season world champion Raikkonen has been “abused” multiple times to favor his teammate without similar reactions says a lot about Mercedes is perceived by fans but their approach has been changing recently and Bottas has been being used as HAM’s wingman more often (Italy few weeks back) and I really don’t want to see Mercedes becoming Ferrari in terms of heartedly embracing team orders.

    2. And that is exactly what Lewis said

    3. @fer-no65 : it was Hamilton’s point. That’s what he said : Bottas has won on merit at the end of last year and there are no reasons why he wouldn’t again.

  6. I wonder if he’ll give Bottas the trophy?

    1. @selbbin That picture is actually Lewis offering to swap the trophy with Bottas and Bottas rejected it. If you can find the replay of podium ceremony, it’s right after Bottas get his trophy when Vettel was handed the 3rd place trophy.

  7. The conversation after the race irritated me. A team order was given Valterri was told to let Lewis by, he did. Valterri should be applauded for his discipline and his effort. The questioning of Lewis and his answers bothered me because the decision was made he followed and took the win. No sense crying over spilt milk.

    Remember Lewis could have given Valterri back the position so…..

    1. You guys sometimes sound like you think he has a TV in the car and all information about times and positions in the track.

      It’s a race. You don’t stop to let someone through unless you are absolutely sure what is going on behind.

  8. Bull rap Lewis, you should have gave it back This race

    1. How would he have done that without the team helping organise it? Vettel was too close to Bottas for many of the remaining laps and unpredictably so. He was often between 1.2 and 6 seconds depending on the traffic. If Lewis had tried to let Bottas past without the team backing then it would have been likely Vettel could have passed him too. Plus you are assuming that Lewis knows all the timings of all the cars behind… He does not, he is told that information by the team.

  9. They can try to talk all they like…

    Damage is done.

    1. There is no damage whatsoever. Teams care only about winning and Mercedes wants to win both championships. Bottas gets paid very well to support Lewis. That’s his job. If he doesn’t want his job I’m sure there are quite a few other drivers willing to support Lewis at Mercedes. Just ask Ocon or Vandoorne.

    2. Has there been damage done by Kimi letting Vettel past this year?

  10. Mercedes are going to fix another race?

    1. Mercedes is fixing races for the last two years, keeping up the appearance that there is competition, but at the same time making sure the rules and decisions go their way… Stop complaining and stop watching if that’s not what you want.

      1. Mercedes are gonna fix more races to annoy some people who really running for the most annoying fan award…

  11. Fikri Harish (@)
    1st October 2018, 10:59

    Not as bad as Osaka’s trophy ceremony at the US Open but that was still a pretty depressing podium line-up.
    Bottas’ professionalism is astounding though, if I manage a race team, I’d definitely be happy with having him as one of my drivers.

  12. I think he has the possibility of winning many more races himself. At the end of last year I think he won quite a few.

    “…unless the team decides to take his wins and give them to ME… like today”

    1. have you forgotten what happened earlier in the season when merc told lewis to give bottas his first place back after lewis failed to catch vettel?
      also lewis didn’t say “…unless the team decides to take his wins and give them to ME… like today” so why are you implying he did?
      youre mad at lewis eventhough it wasn’t his decision and he never asked to be let by during the race,
      so youre pointing the finger at the wrong person.

      1. Cause he kinda contradics himself: 1st he says he has no problem giving back the win, then he says BOT doesn’t need to do that (that = accept 1 win from HAM)! So, dunno, it seems he actually at least hopes he doesn’t have to give the win back to BOT. Plus, who knows what might happen, BOT might be forced to give him another win until the end of the season.

        1. He is making the point that Bottas is fast enough that he is likely to win races anyway. It was a nice way to say ” I will let him win if needed but I probably will not need to as he is a good driver…”

          You are reading far too much into it when it was just a way of not belittling Bottas.

      2. MG1982 is just biased.

    2. Yes, he will start winning once Lewis has the championship in the bag.

  13. I think they should have given bottas back his first place in the final few laps when vettel wasn’t really a threat anymore.
    but im sure bottas will now win atleast 2 of the 5 remaining races especially if lewis has no more dnfs.

  14. While I can understand the sympathy toward Bottas, the position he found himself in was entirely of his own making. Had he been competing with Hamilton for the Championship we would not be having any discussion about team orders. Hamilton would just have had to race it out as he did with Rosberg, who was always a near match with him on pace.

  15. Great.
    So the next time Bottas wins it’s because it’s a favor and not on actual merit.

  16. Stupid question to ask.

  17. I am so fed up of people saying Lewis didn’t need to pass Bottas, or he could have given Bottas the place back. The only person who could have refused to follow team orders was Bottas – he could have gone faster or just downright refused to comply, Lewis HAD to follow team orders. If Lewis had refused to pass Bottas or unilaterally slowed down to allow him through, that would probably have led to a lot of confusion and gifted the place to Vettel.
    I wish the team had not done it, but they have and I can fully understand why. If Lewis wins the title by fewer than 7 points every Lewis and Merc fan will breath a huge sigh of relief and offer Toto a big thanks for being brave enough to do the unpopular thing.

    1. Hammy could have got on the radio and said this is unacceptable.

      I remember when they told Hammy to move over for Rosberg at Hungary 2014, Hammy was appalled by the idea of moving over for his teammate who was on a completely different strategy.

      Hammy said if he gets close enough he can pass me. He refused a team order.

      Hammy has refused team instructions many times in the past. Abu Dhabi 2016 was the most egregious example.

      Hammy took the win with both hands and then acted like the innocent victim afterwards.

      1. That was very different. They were both fighting for the championship.

        This time Bottas slowed down so much that Hamilton had to pass him. Hamilton does not appear to have been told about the decision before Bottas slowed. After that it was very risky to swap them back which is probably why they didn’t.

        1. Except that Rosberg had obeyed team orders in the past when Hammy was on a different strategy.

          When it was Hammy’s turn to obey a team order he barked back that if he gets close enough he can pass.

          If Hammy was indeed upset he would have been on the radio as soon as Bottas slowed down for him saying I don’t want to win in this manner.

          But, no he doesn’t.

          He took it with both hands.

          Funny how the most vocal guy on team radio is strangely silent when something benefits him.

          1. No, that was not how it happened. Rosberg was quite far behind. Hamilton simply told them that if he proves he is faster then he will let him past. The previous seasons when Rosberg was told to give way, he was not in the championship battle.

            In Russia, as far as I know Hamilton did ask what was going on and they explained that his tyres were in danger. He is hardly going to argue with them over what seemed like a perfectly acceptable decision based on data that he did not have at hand.

          2. Rosberg was as close as he could get on the Hungaroring without destroying his tyres. He was on a completely different strategy and out of sequence to Hammy because Hammy spun off early in the race.

            If you can’t manage your tyres you don’t deserve a race win.

          3. He was not that close and was in fact dropping back. Hamiltons lap times were quicker than Rosbergs at the time that the request came through.

          4. Because Rosberg kept dropping back to save his tyres, then he would close the gap back up straight away to show the speed advantage.

          5. No he wasn’t. He was dropping back lap after lap.

          6. Read this Lee1 blokes other posts. He is jusg a one eyed HAM fan. Whatever excuse fits will do.

  18. Lewis handing Bottas back a win when the inevitable happens in the next race or two wouldn’t make things any better. We as fans want real racing, not politking on the track.

  19. BOT’s season has, unfortunately, been defined and haunted by his rotten luck in Baku…

Comments are closed.