Bottas was running ahead of Hamilton after the seven-time champion was put on a two-stop strategy in a bid to beat Max Verstappen for the win.

The Finn was on for a comfortable third-place in Barcelona and was told on Lap 52 to move over for his teammate to ensure Hamilton didn’t lose any unnecessary time in his fight with Verstappen.

Hamilton wasn’t let through immediately and he was forced to make a lunge on Bottas into Turn 10.

 

 

Explaining why he didn’t let Hamilton through immediately, Bottas said he wanted to make sure he had a pit stop gap over Leclerc before making his second stop and wanted to lose as little time as possible.

“Yes, I got the message and obviously we were in different strategies at that point,” Bottas said in the post-race press conference. “Unless something crazy would happen, I wasn’t really fighting anymore with him, but the thing was that, at that time I was trying to get Charles out of my pit window, so I could stop again and try be ahead of him, so I was really conscious I didn’t want to lose too much time and I was focusing on my race.

“It’s about balancing things but, of course, as a racing driver you prioritize yourself, your race, because that’s what you do, but, also, we work as a team, so you don’t want to ruin the race for the team if that’s not possible for you.

“So, I tried to do the best thing I could for us and the team, but also for myself, but it’s always hard doing these kinds of things, you don’t know if the other driver is going to predict what’s going to happen and where to go. I think that, in the end, it was kind of OK.”

Hamilton had no issues with what occurred with Bottas.

“I think we’re the best teammates,” Hamilton added. “Honestly, I didn’t know he had a message so in my mind I was like ‘we are racing’ and that’s totally fine for me, particularly early on in this part of this season.

“In my mind, I was like ‘OK, I’ve got to get close and go for an overtake’. Obviously when we went into Turn 10… we were on massively different strategies because I was going to get him at some stage because I had much better tyres. We were going into Turn 10… I thought there was a gap there, then I wasn’t quite sure and then there was a gap and Valtteri was completely fair, I hope I didn’t lose him too much time.

“This is how we win as a team. We sometimes are in that position where we’ve got to put the team first and getting a second and a third is good, but getting a first is max points, and that’s key.”

 

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