Hamilton: People need to give Bottas a break

Lewis Hamilton believes that Valtteri Bottas’s critics “need to give him a break”, saying that Mercedes currently has the best line-up on the Formula 1 grid.

Hamilton: People need to give Bottas a break

Bottas and Hamilton have been Mercedes teammates since the start of the 2017 season, winning the constructors’ championship in each of the past four years together.

Bottas finished as runner-up to Hamilton in the championship in both 2019 and 2020, but has struggled to match his teammate’s form through the early part of the new season.

Hamilton has scored two race wins and leads the drivers’ standings, but Bottas has not finished a race any higher than third, leaving him 37 points behind in the championship.

Bottas hit back at a suggestion he could be replaced by Mercedes junior George Russell mid-season on Thursday, calling it “bullshit”.

Hamilton was supportive of Bottas when asked if Mercedes would have a stronger line-up next year by replacing the Finn with Russell, and felt he deserved to be cut some of the criticism he has faced.

“From what I’ve experienced, from the relationship of course that I have with Valtteri, I think he’s been an amazing teammate as I’ve always said,” Hamilton said.

“If I’m really honest, I feel like we have the best line-up currently in terms of deliverables, in terms of the equilibrium that’s within our team, and the general knowledge in terms of moving our car forwards.

“Look, at some stage it is going to shift, it is going to change. I’m not going to be here forever, Valtteri won’t be here forever, but right now, I think we’ve delivered time and time again over the years, and we continue to.

“Valtteri just qualified on pole at the last race. It’s only the fourth race. I think people need to give him a break, and just let him focus on doing what he’s doing.”

Read Also:

Both Hamilton and Bottas are out of contract at the end of the current season, while Russell will also be a free agent after his deal with Williams expires.

Russell made his Mercedes debut at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix when he deputised for Hamilton after the seven-time world champion tested positive for COVID-19.

In that race, Russell qualified second and came close to winning the race before a pit error and a late puncture, before Hamilton returned for the Abu Dhabi season finale.

Russell previously dismissed a rumour that he was no longer talking with Hamilton, who stressed their relationship was “100% still intact” and “exactly the same” following the Sakhir performance.

“We messaged after his incident at Imola, and I hope you can see from the message I put on, I’m supportive of him,” Hamilton said.

“He’s going through his own journey, but he’s a great guy, and he did a great job when he came to the team, and he’ll continue to do a good job.

“So no issues.”

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: F1 needs better solution for track limits

Previous article

Verstappen: F1 needs better solution for track limits

Next article

Williams rear end issue hampered Russell’s F1 race in Portimao

Williams rear end issue hampered Russell’s F1 race in Portimao
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021
The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality Prime

The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality

OPINION: Formula 1 heads back to Silverstone this weekend for the 2021 British Grand Prix, where a full-capacity crowd will return after a painful absence in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Here’s how the pieces that permitted a part of returning ‘normal’ life were arranged.

Formula 1
Jul 14, 2021