BUDAPEST: A disappointed Valtteri Bottas said he was hurt to be described as a “sensational wingman” by Mercedes chief Toto Wolff following team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s victory in yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Finn, who like Hamilton agreed a new contract with the team only two weeks ago, had believed he could race to win, but was forced into a damage limitation race after an early pit stop.
Team boss Wolff said: “It wasn’t realistic for us to win. It is one of our weakest tracks. We expected damage limitation, rather than taking the points.
“It feels a little bitter-sweet. I’m really happy for Lewis. I just feel sad for Valtteri. He deserved P2 because he was such a sensational wingman. That would’ve been nice.”
Bottas, who finished fifth after a late pit stop following two collisions while running on severely worn old tyres, was upset when Wolff’s comments were put to him.
“Well, first of all, wingman hurts,” he said.
“Second, I don’t see any positives in this race for me. It was a disappointing result. We had to pit early to cover Kimi (Raikkonen). Still, 20 laps before the end, I was feeling ok.
“We could control the pace, but then the rear tyres started to go and I tried to defend as best I could and, in the end, I just ended up being a mess with a broken car.”