Mercedes AMG Petronas‘ Valtteri Bottas believed that the Scuderia Ferrari‘s benefited today thanks to track position.
The Ferrari’s locked out the front row at today’s Hungarian Grand Prix and stayed out at front with Sebastian Vettel taking victory ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Bottas finished third after team-mate Lewis Hamilton allowed the Finn through on the last lap.
Midway through the race, Hamilton felt that Bottas was holding him up and believed to have the pace to catch both Ferrari cars in the lead. Mercedes instructed Bottas to let Hamilton pass with the promise to swap back if the Brit failed to pass.
Hamilton failed to pass and allowed Bottas through on the last lap to take back third place, with Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen producing a late threat to both Mercedes drivers on the last lap. Bottas has now achieved five podiums in five consecutive races.
Bottas still sits third in the world championship with 169 points, nineteen points away from Lewis Hamilton.
“It was really tricky today. The pace was not so much a problem. But once you get within 1.5 seconds to the car in front of you it becomes so difficult to close the gap. And that track position was a big benefit for Ferrari today.” quoted Bottas after the race.
“Even though Sebastian was struggling, no-one could pass him. We tried as a team to swap positions, but Lewis couldn’t get past them either. We didn’t gain any points but I’m glad we tried it. I was promised that Lewis would let me back if it didn’t work out.”
“I was struggling with the back markers so the gap to Lewis became bigger than I wanted. But Lewis and the team kept their promise and we swapped positions back in the last lap”
Bottas felt Hamilton’s action on letting him back through shows that he is a team player even if means sacrificing vital points in the world championship battle with Championship leader and Hungarian Grand Prix winner, Sebastian Vettel.
“I don’t think every team-mate would do that in a championship fight, so I think that was really nice of him and it shows that he is a real team player. Our situations still is not too bad with regards to the points and the championship standing. Lewis and me are still in the fight.”