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'It hurts to be called Hamilton's wingman', says angry Bottas

02 August 2018

While Mercedes have made some glaring strategy mistakes, Vettel has made more errors in the heat of battle than his rival. Motorsport Week presents its conclusions from the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari had the quickest package after all and Hamilton would be on worn rubber.

So how did Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes turn a wet-weather pole into a dry-weather win despite a vehicle speed deficit?

Bottas played down both collisions as he fixated on the comments of his boss which clearly struck a chord.

After 12 of 21 races, defending champion Hamilton has the momentum.

Hamilton secured pole with a brilliant last lap in the rain on Saturday, while Vettel started a modest fourth behind Raikkonen and Bottas.

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Bottas put his prang with Vettel down to a racing incident and felt there was little he could have done to avoid the crash with Ricciardo. If Ferrari had executed a clean pit stop he would have emerged ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the final stint and may have been able to chase down Hamilton in the lead. The Ferrari driver was initially on track to leapfrog Bottas after his stop but traffic, combined with a slow pit stop due to a problem with the front-left wheel, resulted in Vettel rejoining the field in third place, and crucially, behind Bottas.

Was it really that defining?

"We are on equal terms and I trust the team 100pc on that", Bottas clarified. "But then, as it turned out, with the circumstances and so on, we obviously lost out and we came out behind". Surely it didn't help.

Hamilton went on to cruise the last 20 laps, a lot less drama involved this weekend compared to Hockenheim. I was disappointed with my end-result in the race and saw everything in a negative way for a moment.

"But I wanted to still get him back on-track as opposed to waiting for a penalty". I would have struggled. "Secondly, I don't see any positives in this race for me".

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On current performance, Vettel should to be going into the four-week gap before the Belgian Grand Prix leading the championship. This will definitely give confidence for Vettel to push harder.

Bottas, who lost part of his front wing, dropped to fifth after a late collision with Daniel Ricciardo, who overtook the Finn on the final lap in his second shot at the wounded Mercedes auto.

"The second half of the season is always intense, but it is usually when it gets a bit better on our side", he said, referring to his Mercedes team, in the aftermath of their polished triumph at the Hungaroring. Bottas has had a troublesome first half of 2018: far more consistent than 2017, but with much less fortune. "For sure the team will decide at some point".

Aside from those enjoying testing at the Hungaroring this week, Formula 1 has headed off on its summer holidays following a frantic spell of five Grands Prix in six weekends.

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'It hurts to be called Hamilton's wingman', says angry Bottas