Bottas ready to 'sacrifice' his race to help Hamilton’s F1 title bid

Valtteri Bottas says he’s prepared to “sacrifice” his own chances of a good result to help Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 title bid against Max Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes…

Bottas struggled in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, only managing sixth on the grid as he was beaten by Lando Norris, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz.

Afterwards, he revealed that his pace was compromised after he reverted to an older power unit, costing him 0.2s in lap time.

Mercedes has a 28-point lead over Red Bull going into the race meaning it only needs to score 17 points to take an astonishing eighth consecutive constructors’ championship.

With Mercedes in the driving seat and Bottas already wrapping up third in the drivers’ championship, the Finn is ready to go all-out to assist his teammate before leaving the team for Alfa Romeo next year.

“I’m ready to sacrifice my optimal race because we really want both titles and I really want us to win both titles before I go,” he said. “I’m definitely going to do my part for the team to get both titles.”

Starting from the third row of the grid, Bottas admitted that getting through the opening lap unscathed will be important.

“At least make sure I don’t lose positions at the start, that’s number one and then I think I need to be patient, play the long game, because I can go long if I want on the first stint, and it’s important to get the points, not destroy the car, so I need to be patient, I would say,” he added.

Bottas is one of three drivers to be starting on the mediums for the race - teammate Hamilton and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda are the other two.

He remains confident Mercedes has made the right call as it should give the team more flexibility with strategy.

“Since the end of FP3 the plan was always to start with the medium, which we think it’s better for us,” Bottas explained.

“At least the first pit window is going to be quite a bit bigger, so if we want or need to go long, that’s an opportunity and if you are on the Soft, they will start to grain pretty quickly.”

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