“Unbelievable” Bottas can play “vital” role in Hamilton’s title push
Sam Hall & Will Gray
Toto Wolff has insisted Valtteri Bottas can play a “vital” role in the destination of the drivers’ championship after an “unbelievable” Turkish Grand Prix victory.
Bottas has struggled to get between Hamilton and Verstappen this season, finishing third behind the title-contending pair on five occasions and his victory on Sunday was the first time he has finished ahead of the Red Bull driver with both completing a race this year.
However, Wolff is hopeful that Bottas – who actually claimed a hat-trick with pole albeit gifted through Hamilton’s penalty, fastest lap and victory – has now turned a corner and can help in the title battle.
“It may not be his last [win] this season because what he has delivered was just unbelievable,” said Wolff. “He started with an easiness from pole, pulled away, he was the quickest man on track.
“[He was] the best in terms of tyre management, kept it all under control, scored the fastest lap and this is a 10 out of 10. He can play a vital role in the constructors’ championship but also supporting Lewis.”
Wolff – “Thank God” for Valtteri
Bottas won the race in dominant fashion at Istanbul Park, helping to cushion the blow of an engine penalty for title contender Lewis Hamilton, who recovered from starting 11th to claim a fifth-place finish as Max Verstappen finished second.
Mercedes will part company with Bottas at the end of the season but after his first win of the season, Wolff believes the Finn can put in more performances to help take more points off Hamilton’s title rival.
Wolff said: “I think we need to walk away from here and say that was damage limitation, so this weekend thank God Valtteri was out there and won the race and scored an extra point for the fastest lap.
“You can always, in absolute terms, hope for a better race result but I think most of the things this weekend we did well. Valtteri’s performance prevented Max from scoring eight more points.”
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October 12, 2021 at 06:05PM