Bottas doesn't want favor returned by Mercedes

Hope Soto
October 5, 2018

A famous victim of team orders, Felipe Massa has nonetheless backed Mercedes' decision to rob Valtteri Bottas of victory in Russian Federation.

Bottas reflected on a "difficult day", while Hamilton said he had "a very unusual feeling" following his third win in a row.

"But in his heart, my heart, and Lewis" heart it didn't feel right that he didn't win the race because he was the guy in the lead'.

Hamilton, whose lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the standings is now 50 points heading into the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, said he was "the most conflicted I have ever been" after taking the chequered flag in Sochi in such a manner. To be the baddie on Sunday for many right reasons, or do I want to be the idiot in Abu Dhabi at end of the season? Then we surprised them with a good out-lap [after his pit stop] and I managed to jump Lewis and Valtteri. Even if Vettel wins all five remaining races, he's no longer guaranteed to beat Hamilton.

But with Vettel still a factor and with Hamilton having apparent problems with a blistered tire, Mercedes took its controversial decision.

"We lost some points during the two last races".

"It's a really attractive place here in Sochi", said Hamilton.

Hamilton went on to win comfortably while Bottas was forced to come home second, fighting off a mini Vettel attack late in the race. He would lose second place to Sebastian (Vettel) and that wouldn't be ideal for both of the championships, so I think that was the worry but I think in the end it proved that actually it wasn't that bad.

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Bottas' obedience was acknowledged by Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff, who made the decision.

The decisive intervention came on lap 23 of 53 in the race.

"I agree it's tough and maybe we are playing too safe".

Similar to Mercedes, Ferrari, despite a sizeable lead in the title race, felt the need to aid Schumacher's championship assault as they knew he was the only realistic chance of winning that year's world championship.

Hamilton, who himself was uncomfortable with the call and considered handing the position back to Bottas at the end of the race, said he was also able to see the bigger picture.

"There are no points for fastest lap but I know how much I had pace throughout the weekend and many people do know as well".

Hamilton is on the verge of greatness, 2018 has brought out the best we have seen in him.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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