Wolff clarifies Bottas 'wingman' comments following Hungarian GP

Toto Wolff has clarified his reference to Valtteri Bottas being Lewis Hamilton's "wingman" in Formula 1's Hungarian Grand Prix, insisting Mercedes does not favour one driver over the other

Wolff clarifies Bottas 'wingman' comments following Hungarian GP

Mercedes team boss Wolff called Bottas a "sensational wingman" for fending off the Ferraris as Hamilton escaped to victory at the Hungaroring, leading Bottas to tell TV crews that being described that way "hurts".

Bottas suggested he would seek talks with Mercedes over Wolff's comments, saying it remains too early in the season for him to be cast in a support role to championship leader Hamilton.

When asked by Autosport how he would deal with the situation in the aftermath, Wolff moved to clarify his remarks.

"That's exactly why things that are not being discussed directly face-to-face are being completely spun out of control in the wrong way," Wolff said.

"In today's race, starting P2, after lap one, Valtteri's race was the perfect wingman race - and I don't mean it in championship terms, because we have no number one, we have no number two, but it was just how he was racing.

"It was, from my standpoint, [his] best race so far with Mercedes in the last [two] years."

Wolff said Mercedes was "surprised" Bottas managed to keep the Ferraris at bay for so long.

"I don't know how much length the tyre was on but I guess it was around 50 - 54 [laps] - the tyre was completely shot," Wolff added.

"We were surprised he managed to hold Sebastian and Kimi behind for 25 or so laps and we knew the last five laps would be really critical.

"The bittersweet feeling I have is that he would have deserved to finish P2 - where he has started and where he was after lap one.

"But, are you saying maybe the word wingman doesn't do him justice? He just drove a sensational race and helped Lewis, in a way, to build the lead."

Bottas subsequently back-tracked on his own remarks, posting a message of support for Wolff and Mercedes on social media.

"I have not called a meeting with the bosses for Toto saying I was the perfect wingman in this race," read the statement.

"There is no need to. I was disappointed with my end-result in the race and saw everything in a negative way for a moment.

"I know what he meant. And he would have said the same about Lewis if he'd be in same situation and had a similar race.

"We are on equal terms and I trust the team 100% on that. All good. We'll keep pushing! It'll come."

shares
comments
Sebastian Vettel doesn't blame Valtteri Bottas for Hungary clash

Previous article

Sebastian Vettel doesn't blame Valtteri Bottas for Hungary clash

Next article

Kimi Raikkonen: Hungary podium didn't feel like a happy finish

Kimi Raikkonen: Hungary podium didn't feel like a happy finish
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff , Valtteri Bottas
Author Ben Anderson
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021