Bottas is ‘free’ to fight Hamilton

Date published: September 5 2019

Valtteri Bottas is 'free' to fight Hamilton

Toto Wolff is adamant Valtteri Bottas is “free” to go for it even though both championship titles are still on the line.

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have dominated this year’s campaign with the Brit taking eight race wins on his way to a 65-point lead in the championship.

Mercedes added a further two wins to that tally through Bottas, although the Finn hasn’t won a grand prix since F1’s visit to Baku back in April.

He is, however, still holding down second place in the championship, 22 points ahead of Max Verstappen.

Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff has given Bottas the go-ahead to fight Hamilton in the final eight races of this season, saying he is “free” to race his team-mate even though Hamilton is yet to wrap up his sixth World title.

“We’re going to encourage Valtteri as we did to go flat out, without getting ahead of ourselves,” Wolff told Motorsportweek.com.

“This is still a championship that is not won, neither – not the Constructors’ nor the Drivers’.

“Both of them have been very intelligent in their driving and fighting with each other, it’s one of the strengths of the team and I’m very proud of how they do it.

“Therefore Valtteri is free to go and fight for victories and for the best possible situation in the championship.”

Bottas will remain Hamilton’s team-mate in 2020 having recently signed a new one-year deal with the Brackley squad.

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