Valtteri Bottas admits he is “hurt” by Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff’s “wingman” comments following the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 at the conclusion of the race won by Lewis Hamilton, Wolff described Bottas as a “sensational wingman” as he dropped to fifth in a spirited defensive drive on old Soft tyres. 

Bottas maintained position behind Hamilton at the start and kept the Ferrari pair headed by Sebastian Vettel at bay until the closing stages of the race, when Vettel made the most of running on fresher Ultrasofts to move ahead. Contact between the two saw Bottas fall behind Kimi Raikkonen, before he lost out to Daniel Ricciardo

Hungarian GP - Best Moments

When made aware of Wolff’s comments, Bottas told Sky Sports F1: “Well, first of all ‘wingman’ hurts. I think we need to speak after this race. We are over half way of the year. The points gap is big so I’m sure the team will decide at some point.”

Bottas was instructed to hold position behind Hamilton at the German Grand Prix but insisted there were no plans for him to play a supporting role to his teammate’s title bid, with Hamilton moving 24 points clear of Vettel heading into the summer break. 

“I don’t see any positives for me,” he added. “We thought we should have been able to do that one-stop. We had to stop earlier than we wanted because of Kimi, we had to cover him. 

“Still 20 laps from the end everything was feeling OK, I had good control of the pace and my position. But then the rear tyres started to die. 

“I tried to defend best I could, as aggressive as I could, but it all ended up being a bit of a mess in the end with a broken front wing and everything.”

Race stewards opted to take no further action following Bottas’ late collision with Vettel, however the Mercedes driver was hit with a 10-second time penalty for causing a separate incident with Ricciardo, as the pair came together under braking for Turn 1. The post-race penalty made no difference to his finishing position. 

Bottas felt both collisions were nothing more than racing incidents. 

“With Seb, he had a good run into Turn 2. We had a good battle at Turn 1. I still had my nose inside at Turn 2, he was on the outside,” he explained.

“He turned in very early for me, there was nowhere to go. We touched, I was the only one which got damage. Fair enough, I think racing incident.

“With Daniel, pretty much a similar thing. I was more next to him on the inside. I had no half of my front wing, so I was locking up as well. 

“I’m sure he saw that I was going quite quick into the corner but he still turned in, and then we touched.”