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Bottas: I am not support to Lewis

NEWS STORY
26/07/2018

Days after being told not to challenge Lewis Hamilton's lead in Germany, Valtteri Bottas insists he is not under instructions to support his teammate's (fifth) title bid.

Having stopped during the safety car period, once things settled down Bottas was able to catch his teammate who had now inherited the lead. Having had his first move on Hamilton rebuffed by the Briton, strategist James Vowles was heard over the radio telling the Finn to hold station.

Asked in Hungary today, if this means that from here on he is to support his teammate and not make his own bid for the title, Bottas replied: "I do believe we are still allowed to race freely.

"Obviously it always goes case by case," he continued, "but there's no plan in place at the moment for me being at all in a support role. We are still on equal terms. That's the plan for now.

"Obviously hopefully it will continue until the end of the year," he added.

"I think with all the difficult races we had on the triple header, we lost so many points with different causes, and I kind of get the team's decision after lap one," he said, referring to the Hockenheim decision. "We were side by side a couple of times and they wanted to get those points. I am very confident they would have done the same if I was in the lead at that point. That's how it is."

Asked at what stage he received the order from Vowles, he said: "I think it was more or less into the stadium. I think it must have been around turn 12, so during the first lap after the safety car went (in). In all honesty, I think kind of the biggest of the battle was already there, at least, that lap as it is very tricky to follow.

"We're in similar cars, OK, there was a little bit of a tyre difference but the last sector is extremely difficult to follow and it is just unknown if I would have had any other opportunities or not, maybe, maybe not, but yeah, that's when the call came."

Asked whether in the closing stages he was made aware of the possible penalty facing Hamilton for his aborted pit stop, a move which resulted in the Briton being told to up his pace in case of a time penalty, Bottas said: "I wasn't aware of his pit stop situation, that he had to go over the line so I wasn't aware of that, so that's why I wasn't really trying to be within one second because everything was pretty much set for us then. I wasn't aware."

Check out our Thursday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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1. Posted by Karim, 28/07/2018 9:22

""James Vowles was heard over the radio telling the Finn to hold station"...
"I do believe we are still allowed to race freely"

A call to hold station is hardly permission to race freely. Actually it's quite the opposite, no?"

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2. Posted by F1 Yank, 26/07/2018 21:48

"Bottas is support for Hamilton, period!! Only if HAM is way out of the points and he is a Championship contender will that ever swap."

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3. Posted by ESTMPRFT, 26/07/2018 19:14

"I guess nobody told Valtteri what his role really is. And, isn't denial a river in Egypt?"

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