Valtteri Bottas clarifies reaction to Toto Wolff's 'wingman' comment
Valtteri Bottas has clarified comments made by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff in the aftermath of Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton controlled proceedings at the Hungaroring as Bottas preserved second on increasingly worn Soft tyres, with third-placed Sebastian Vettel unable to overhaul the Finn.
Bottas eventually fell behind Vettel, collided with the Ferrari driver, and suffered further contact while battling Daniel Ricciardo, for which he received a time penalty that did not affect his final result of fifth.
Wolff referred to Bottas as a “wingman” post-race, a comment the Finn said “hurts”, as he suggested he would seek talks with Mercedes.
Bottas took to social media shortly after to suggest there was “some out of context news around".
“I have not called a meeting with the bosses for Toto saying I was the perfect wingman in this race. 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 per cent on that. All good. We’ll keep pushing! It’ll come.”
Wolff was also questioned about his comment and moved to clarify his meaning.
“That’s exactly why things that are not being discussed directly face to face are being completely spun out of control in a wrong way,” he said.
“In today’s race, starting P2 after lap one, Valtteri’s race was the perfect wingman’s race.
“I don’t mean it in championship terms, we have no number one and number two, but it was just how he was racing, was from my standpoint the best race so far with Valtteri at Mercedes in the last three years.
“The bittersweet feeling I have is he would have deserved to have finished P2. It was where he started and where was after lap one but as you say, maybe the word wingman doesn’t do him justice.
“He drove a sensational race and helped Lewis in a way to build a lead. But Lewis on the other side drove a faultless spectacular race as well.”