Hamilton highlights importance of respect between him and Bottas
Lewis Hamilton believes it is important for him and Valtteri Bottas to retain a high level of respect both as team-mates and as competitors, believing it can aid their racing on track.
The Finn beat Hamilton to pole position after finishing quicker in qualifying for the British Grand Prix at the weekend, with the pair subsequently getting into an entertaining duel for P1 which the latter eventually won to claim the race victory.
The duo exchanged P1 more than once, such as their close proximity, but Hamilton insists the dynamic between them is always respectful.
“It’s no secret that Valtteri wants to beat me and I want to beat him and that fighting spirit is stronger than anything, individually for all of us,” he said.
“I think it’s so vital though, to have a respect. I know how hard is it to get a pole here.
“He did a fantastic job yesterday I know how hard it is to wake up and deliver every weekend, as do these other drivers, so the respect is there between us.
“I think we want to race wheel-to-wheel and tough. When you’re racing with a team-mate it’s on a different level.”
Hamilton revealed that he thought about blocking Bottas’ path during one of his attempted overtakes, but thought better of it.
“If I were racing a Ferrari, you take more risks,” he continued
“Still respectful, but you can lean on them a bit more but as team-mates.
“We sit down at the beginning of the race, we talk about Turn 1 and how we’re going to respect each other, make sure we don’t collide, and even when I overtook him and he was coming back, I could have swept across the front and blocked him – but that’s not the right thing to do.
“Ultimately it enabled him to get back past - but that’s racing. It was really fair, and it was great. Honestly I was looking forward to maybe some racing later.
“He was doing some good times so the gap was growing, in terms of me coming out maybe one second, one-and-a-half seconds to two seconds, and I was trying to keep it as little as possible before I finally stopped so that, so that when I came out, I had the advantage on a new tyre and could finally catch him up and try to get past.”
Bottas did at one point look like he was poised for the win, but a safety car period in the middle of the race allowed Hamilton to gain a free pit-stop with no significant time lost, which proved vital in the Brit’s favour.
“But the Safety Car came out and kind of intervened. But that was awesome,” Hamilton added.
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