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Bottas rubbishes 'damaged' Mercedes relationship rumours

Bottas rubbishes 'damaged' Mercedes relationship rumours

F1 News

Bottas rubbishes 'damaged' Mercedes relationship rumours

Bottas rubbishes 'damaged' Mercedes relationship rumours
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Valtteri Bottas has rubbished reports his relationship with Mercedes is damaged after his radio outburst during the French Grand Prix.

The Finn was left irate at the team's decision to ignore his pleas for a second pit stop at Paul Ricard which left him open to attack from both Red Bulls, who were on different strategies.

With his F1 future hanging by a thread, Bottas' form and demeanour both in and outside of the car has been scrutinised ever since his Imola crash with George Russell - the driver most likely to demote the 31-year-old from his seat at Mercedes.

Asked if the perception his relationship with the world championship-winning constructor was damaged ahead of this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix, Bottas replied: "I can be very direct on that. That perception is completely false.

"I have a good relationship with the team and there are no issues."

Referring to his radio messages, he added: "Those kinds of situations, they are normal. I am sure not all the things have been broadcast in the past.

"What has brought us this far as a team is always being direct and honest on your feelings and if you feel there is a place for improvement, so it is nothing new and everything is good."

Mercedes have no plans for Bottas back-up role

Max Verstappen's victory in France was backed up by Sergio Perez's podium finish to ensure Red Bull stretched their advantage in the constructors' title to 37 points.

Perez was left out on track longer than the rest of the top four in a ploy akin to the race in Portimão where he seemed to play roadblock for the Mercedes.

Asked if there had been any talk of a back-up role for Bottas to Lewis Hamilton for the remainder of the season, Bottas insisted: "We haven't had any discussion about that. I think it is too early.

"Everyone needs to remember there are still 16 races to go so there have been no discussions about that and I don't think so at this point."

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