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Hamilton pleads for Bottas critics to "give him a break"

Hamilton pleads for Bottas critics to "give him a break"

F1 News

Hamilton pleads for Bottas critics to "give him a break"

Hamilton pleads for Bottas critics to "give him a break"
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Lewis Hamilton has called for critics of Valtteri Bottas to "give him a break" after rumours surfaced suggesting Mercedes could switch drivers mid-season.

A report suggested the F1 team's hierarchy is running out of patience with Bottas in light of Red Bull providing a sterner test this year, with team principal Toto Wolff said to be considering drafting in George Russell if the Finn's form does not improve.

After Bottas described the rumours as "bulls**t", Hamilton has also leapt to his team-mate's defence by pointing out the team's continued success working with the two drivers.

With a single year left on both contracts, Hamilton was asked if the team would be stronger if the drivers were changed for 2022, to which he replied: "From what I have experienced and the relationship I have with Valtteri, I think he has been an amazing team-mate, as I have always said, if I am really honest.

"I think we have the best line-up currently in terms of deliverables, in terms of the equilibrium in our team and the general knowledge in terms of moving our car forward."

Noting Bottas' recent poor form, with the 31-year-old already 37 points adrift of the Briton in the drivers' standings, the seven-time champion continued: "At some stage, it is going to shift.

"I am not going to be here forever, Valtteri won't be here forever but right now, we have delivered time and time again over the years and we continue to.

"Valtteri just qualified on pole the last race, it is only the fourth race. I think people need to give him a break and let him focus on what he is doing."

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