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 line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021