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Hamilton to 'come back strong' insists former team-mate

Hamilton to 'come back strong' insists former team-mate

F1 News

Hamilton to 'come back strong' insists former team-mate

Hamilton to 'come back strong' insists former team-mate
Ewan Gale

Valtteri Bottas has backed former team-mate Lewis Hamilton to 'come back strong' after a nightmarish Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend.

The seven-time F1 champion narrowly avoided exiting Q1 for the second time this season before eventually qualifying only 13th for the sprint.

Hamilton then lost a position in the 21-lap event to start 14th in the grand prix but was unable to make any headway in a midfield train, even with DRS that was eventually activated on lap 34, finishing outside the points for only the third time in his Mercedes career when taking the chequered flag.

Bottas, who Hamilton labelled the best team-mate ever last year before George Russell stepped into his Silver Arrow shoes, finished fifth for Alfa Romeo and has shown strong pace throughout the season so far.

Asked for his thoughts on Hamilton's struggles, the Finn said: "I would imagine he was stuck behind other cars. If there is a DRS train it’s not easy.

"George had a great start. That was the key to his race, but we will see a strong Lewis still in the coming races."

Bottas "happy" at Alfa Romeo

For the first time in his F1 career, Bottas was offered a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo after always being on the precipice of losing his seat with Mercedes in the past.

Since leaving as part of a five-time consecutive constructors' championship-winning driver pairing, Bottas has seen Alfa Romeo rise from its lowly position last year whilst the Brackley-based team has struggled to make an impression in the new regulatory era.

Asked if it was a good move to leave Mercedes, Bottas replied: "I am very happy to be in the place I am at the moment. I’m really enjoying it.

"I don’t know the reasons why they [Mercedes] are struggling, I don’t know their technical details, but I focus on our things and focus on improving our car, which we did at the weekend and hopefully we can do it in the next race as well."

On if the issues were surprising to see, Bottas insisted: "Absolutely. It is surprising.

"Never expected to be that tricky. They are still scoring points but hopefully eventually we can score more than them."

Additional reporting by Ian Parkes

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