Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton sure Bottas didn’t slow him deliberately: “He’s a pure racer”

2020 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton doesn’t believe his team mate Valtteri Bottas slowed him intentionally at the end of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Following his collision with Alexander Albon, Hamilton was given a five-second time penalty to be applied at the end of the race. He took the chequered flag less than seven-tenths of a second behind Bottas, and his penalty dropped him from second to fourth in the final standings.

Hamilton said the possibility Bottas held him up intentionally to cost him more places is “not something that was on my mind”. He lost third place to Lando Norris by less than two-tenths of a second.

“It’s not something that I would ever think he would do,” Hamilton continued. “I know that he wouldn’t do something like that.

“He’s a pure racer. He wants to win through pure merit. And I believe that even when he says that you know he doesn’t need to say that.”

Bottas denied he tried to slow Hamilton down at the end of the race, though both drivers had to manage their pace because of Mercedes’ reliability concerns.

“I got the message that he’s got a five second penalty,” said Bottas. “But there was a double yellow, so obviously you have to slow down quite a bit.

“So then I feel like some drivers maybe slow down a bit less so they could catch up. But at the same time, we were still not using the kerbs.

“I tried to compromise of making sure I really get to the flag and win the race, not to risk too much. But also, I tried to go as fast as I could within those limits. So it’s not really my fault that he got the five-second penalty.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

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  • 20 comments on “Hamilton sure Bottas didn’t slow him deliberately: “He’s a pure racer””

    1. Somebody thought it was deliberate???

      I wonder why Mercedes didn’t ask him to let Lewis by, and just stay within those 5 second.
      It would have been a better result for them

      1. Jockey Ewing
        5th July 2020, 21:55

        Yes I thought about it too, but maybe at a first race of the season that might looked like a bit too much like Schumacher and Barrichello at Austrian GP of 2002.
        To do like that and to slow off the followers a bit, it’s very artifical, and maybe could be done at the dense midfield a bit more before the race’s end much less obviously, but for those strong points for second place just right at the end of the first GP, maybe many would dislike it. Personally I thought of it way before the checkered flag, but I would find it a bit distgusting under these circumstances.

      2. Jockey Ewing
        5th July 2020, 22:00

        Similarly to deliberately slow Hamilton to loose some points, could had been done, but that would be very bad and unwise to really go for it as a teammate under these circumstances. I won’t do that in an obvious way, and maybe won’t try to cause more than a small time loss.

      3. True, wouldn’t have thought about this, but would make sense considering the penalty, a team order that doesn’t really make the “victim” lose any points, just the beneficiary gain points on other opponents.

      4. I disagree, it wouldn’t have been a better result. It would have given Mercedes more constructors points, but it wouldn’t have been better for F1. Mercedes didn’t try to excuse Lewis from being punished, which telling Valtteri to let Lewis pass him would have done. Instead history will record Lewis got a time punishment and consequently was deemed to have finished 5th and not First, which is what would have happened if Lewis was told to pass Valtteri.

      5. Jockey Ewing
        6th July 2020, 0:50

        But there is another way to help your teammate at a situation like this, to let him into the DRS window, speed up, and tow him. Or swap postions at every DRS zone, and tow eachother, although that maybe would require some practice to be done smoothly, and likely would require commounication through their race engineers, to know everything in advance. But as Mike Curran mentioned reciprocation and complete trust shall be present to do things like that. Although Hamilton and Bottas seem to have a good relationship yet, it may require a bit even more than that. I would feel this swapping at every DRS zone much more teammatey and fair than slowing down the opponents. Often I feel like I would like to see one driver per team instead of the idea of having 3 driver per team, as it would further increase the amount of strategy included, what is already enormous, and often leads to an anticlimactic endgame and stationary warfare even after some amazing development of the midrace situation.

    2. Pure racer. Rosberg just spit out his riesling thinking of Hamilton backing him up in Abu Dhabi.

      1. That did strike me as a bit ironic, unless Hamilton actually means to imply that he himself isn’t a pure racer…

        1. Ahaha, true!

        2. Exactly. Did he really think race fans would have short memories?

      2. Yes, that incident also crossed my mind too. At least Valtteri didn’t have Jonathan Knowles giving him minimum lap times.

      3. Rosberg did enjoy his champagne though after parking his car in Mirabeau ahead of Lewis during qualifying in Monaco. Nico did what he had to do, then deny what he did on TV with a glorious smirk on his face, it was beautiful. One of my best F1 memories.

    3. Funny. Whether he did or not do it on purpose, that was actually the first thing that crossed my mind Bottas could do when Hamilton was given the time penalty!

    4. Lewis wouldn’t have reciprocated in the same situation and Bottas was well aware of that.

    5. Hakkinen already lapped 3rd place Montoya when his Mclaren failed on the very last lap in Spain 2001 ..I also thought Schumacher was slowing down to make sure Hakkinen didn’t get any point. Alonso in Nurbugring 2005 and Hamilton in Spa 2008 had similar opportunity. Maybe it is written on racing book 101, whats wrong with that?

      1. Yeah, Schumacher of course knew Häkkinen would retire in the final lap, so he started to slow down 20 laps from home to make sure he wouldn’t lap the midfield. Makes perfect sense…

        1. That just show how clever he was, so our brain cannot digest it.
          Off course ..nothing wrong with that.

    6. No one thought Bottas was deliberately slow. Bottas said he wasn’t, Hamilton said he wasn’t. It must have been the 100% ‘unbiased’ Sky commentary team who thought so then .

    7. Bottas is far too classy to back up his teammate into other competitors.

      What kind of respectable top driver would even think of stooping so low….

    Comments are closed.