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Bottas and Wolff reconcile 'wingman' spat

02 August 2018

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff used the "wingman" description while praising the Finnish driver for finishing second behind Lewis Hamilton in Hungary.

They pitted Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen; Mercedes felt they had to respond with Bottas, and now Vettel was second behind Hamilton. The lead has changed hands six times this season but the 31-point swing in Hamilton's favour since Hockenheim has given him the largest lead either driver has enjoyed as F1 heads into the summer break.

"Can I not just keep going", Verstappen said on the radio.

"I just ended up being a mess in the end with a broken vehicle", Bottas said.

"'The start was a bit hectic, I got beaten around a little bit".

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After Bottas's early stop (to cover Raikkonen's) and Hamilton's stop on lap 25, the next stage of Vettel's race was all about the gap to Bottas. After Saturday's qualifying session, Bottas said "we are free to fight, so I'm looking forward to (the race)". As if that wasn't bad enough, the resultant loss of downforce from the front wing damage, allied to extremely worn Softs, left him prey to the recovering Daniel Ricciardo, and Bottas' second collision was another ungainly clash, one for which he was sanctioned. "But I think all around, as a whole, we have hopefully done a slightly better job".

To Vettel's credit, he did his best to damage the limitation after his off-colour qualifying display, but Ferrari had the quicker auto this weekend. "I think we could have gone with Lewis today with the race pace", said Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel is even leading the world championship, but not counting any chickens in his battle with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

"So a lot can happen moving forwards, but what's really important is that we continue to keep up the pressure and keep working as we have done until now".

Bottas did not take kindly to being branded "the flawless wingman" by Mercedes chief Toto Wolff after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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Raikkonen, without water during the race after Ferrari forgot to connect the bottle, made two stops and agreed third - his fifth successive podium finish - was the best he could have hoped for in the circumstances.

"We came here knowing that the Ferrari would be really quick this weekend", Hamilton said shortly after getting out of his vehicle. The Mercedes locked up and speared the Red Bull. "I think I was the only guy in the B-class not lapped in the race, so it's a pretty nice feeling. I was lucky the vehicle was not broken and I could carry on". We expected damage limitation, rather than taking the points.

So, when asked if 2018 will finally be his year to add a fifth title to his tally and his first wearing red, the German answered: "I don't know".

"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 vehicle".

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Bottas and Wolff reconcile 'wingman' spat