Bottas free to race Hamilton – for now

Date published: July 1 2018

Mercedes insists they won’t play favourites in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix with Valtteri Bottas given a fair shot at fighting for the race win.

Bottas will start Sunday’s grand prix ahead of Hamilton on the grid having pipped his team-mate to pole position by 0.019s.

And while a reserve result on Sunday would boost Hamilton’s championship chances, Wolff has made it clear Bottas won’t be playing number two to his team-mate – at least not yet.

“We’ve discussed that internally already,” said the Mercedes motorsport boss.

“We are at race nine, there’s a long way to go, and I think we owe it to the fans.

“It is also the racing mindset we have that we won’t be playing for a Drivers’ Championship in June [or] July.

“Obviously towards the end of the season if you go in the last championship and you can see that this is a solid advantage for one of the drivers, this is the unfortunate situation within every race team that you need to look at. But not now.”