Hamilton: “Doesn’t make a huge difference” if Bottas takes bonus point from me

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he was unconcerned by the possibility Valtteri Bottas would take the bonus point for fastest lap away from him, as long as their team scored it.

Mercedes told Bottas not to attempt to set the fastest lap when they fitted a fresh set of tyres to his car late in the race. Bottas then set the fastest time in the first two sectors and backed off at the end of the lap, after being told by race strategist James Vowles to abandon his attempt to set the quickest lap.

Despite backing off in the final sector, Bottas did set the quickest lap time. Hamilton came in shortly afterwards and took a fresh set of tyres himself to reclaim the fastest lap and bonus point.

Bottas said Hamilton was always going to come into the pits and his bonus point was never in danger.

“I knew Lewis was going to stop as well, that information I had, and I knew that with a decent amount of lifting in the last sector, he would get it,” he said. “So no drama.”

Hamilton said he “had no idea” Bottas had accidentally taken the fastest lap time away from him.

“But it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “If Valtteri had got it, that would have been fine.

“At the end of the day we needed to get the fastest lap, as many points as we can as a team. So if Valtteri gets it or I get it, it doesn’t really make a huge difference.

“But as I said I didn’t even know that Valtteri had stopped, I was completely unaware of that. It was my choice to stop, I needed that extra point, so I did, and it’s fine.”

Having gone into the race three points ahead of Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship, Hamilton leaves the Dutch Grand Prix three points behind him.

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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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23 comments on “Hamilton: “Doesn’t make a huge difference” if Bottas takes bonus point from me”

  1. Even a single point could have a decisive impact when the season ends, so every point is vital.

    1. Mr. Fibber!

    2. If Bottas took that point and Max wins by 1 points i would never stop laughing… :)

  2. Well ham woulda got it anyway so there is no drama. Im sorry but do peiople expect them to let Bottas get a point extra over Hamilton? Also Merc dropped the ball big time should of bought Hamilton when he got like a second behind when there was about 18 laps left should of come in and put either the softest on or the hards. I do not get why Merc were afraid of Hards. They could of made Max have to make a decision box again to cover or Lewis just try and smash the hards to bits for like 15/18 laps. I also wish they went hards on the seconds max was not that happy on them tyres i believe and Lewis could of just kept the pressure on. Max was imperious though and so was Lewis.

  3. Too bad Ham team radio was “guys I need that point”
    Hypocrite as ever

    1. But as I said I didn’t even know that Valtteri had stopped, I was completely unaware of that. It was my choice to stop, I needed that extra point, so I did, and it’s fine.

      Where’s the hypocrisy?

      1. He didn’t say “we” needed that extra point.

        The clear team option with the least risk was let Valtteri take fastest. But if Merc told Ham “no need to stop, Valtteri already secured fastest”, there is a ZERO percent chance Ham would have said “ok, great, go team”. He would have done and said exactly the same thing…”I need that extra point”.

        1. wow, is that frustration really necessary for you? Let it go and just enjoy the season.

    2. He didn’t ask for Bottas to be denied setting the fastest lap time.
      Mercedes messed up an otherwise straight forward pit stop by complicating a none existent challenge.
      Bottas was not a factor in the race why then put him in a situation where it is as if he was given team orders.
      They could have stopped them one after the other and I’m sure Bottas only needed tyres to get to the end of the race not to chase down anyone or set fastest laptimes.

    3. Did you read the article to the end? At least to the quote in the 2nd to last sentence. Who’s hypocrisy is showing?

    4. Because Lewis is lying, he must have known he had the FL.

    5. Yeah maybe he didn’t know his protest was broadcasted to the world. It’s just amusing, as so many things with Hamilton, for him to pretend he didn’t care

  4. Missed one of those famous 80-hour Merc pitstops

    1. what about tyre explosion at almost end of the race in the middle of Baku?

  5. I believe that Mercedes’ decision to get the FLAP point to Hamilton was a no-brainer. He is in serious contention for the championship, Bottas is not, Hamilton is the obvious no. 1 Mercedes driver, Bottas is not, a WDC for Hamilton will be one for the history books, one for Bottas (even if possible) would not.

    So no problem there, but, dang: those Valteri-its-James calls are set up almost as if the intention is to humiliate Bottas to the max in public.

    Team orders, fine, if you really must. But do try to be just a bit classy in how you go about it.

  6. Hamilton is lying. He got on the radio and was clamoring for the fastest lap.

  7. Lies and hypocrisy all round. Pitting Bottas for ‘tyre vibration’, just so it wouldn’t look too bad when they would ask him to let Hamilton have his 2nd place after securing the fastest lap.

    I wonder how Russell will take to being Hamilton’s assistant like this.

    1. There isn’t any lies or hypocrisy when there is a clear number 1 driver and the tactics are for the number 1 to win. It’s part of the sport. Get over it.

      1. The naivity to think that Bottas was actually pitted for tyre vibrations, or that Hamilton didn’t really care all that much about the fastest lap point.

    2. Don’t worry, russell will usurp hamilton, like leclerc did with vettel: these young drivers are all strong (you know the ones I’m talking about) and have no problems going from number 2 to number 1 in a big team.

      Also I’m surprised about hamilton saying he needed the fastest lap and pitting because without bottas pitting he already had the fastest lap himself.

    3. grow up people, this season is probably the last season for hamilton to get his last WDC, after russel comes he might not have the youth he needs to win WDC anymore. Give him a break.

      Every racer has their prime time, and bashing them by saying “he doesnt have talent” when they are old is not that grown up thing to say. He cracked the record of the legend, so your kids will probably watch clips and appreciate this guy in the future.

      Max is good and he is in his prime, so stop talking like a 12 years olds and enjoy the sport. To reach this height you need to be hypocrite, bad, at the same time brilliant.

  8. It doesn’t mater , until it does.

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