Hamilton to Bottas: It’s not personal

Michelle Foster


With seven wins in ten races and a 39-point advantage in the standings, Lewis Hamilton says his battle isn’t a personal one against Valtteri Bottas, he just wants to win.

Bottas has been Hamilton’s closest rival throughout this year’s championship with the Finn having a strong start to the season.

But while Bottas won two of the opening four races, with Hamilton taking the other two, the Brit has gone on to add a further five victories to his tally.

Racing out to a 39-point advantage, Hamilton is on course to win his sixth Drivers’ Championship.

“Ultimately, there’s nothing personal between us,” he told Racer.com about his battle with Bottas.

“Coming to the weekend, you are trying to apply the pressure and come out on top.

“I didn’t come to (Silverstone) with the idea that I need to extend or anything like that.

“I need to work my way towards trying to win, how do I do that, and every weekend it’s slightly different but this has been the strongest year — to this point — that I can remember ever having.”

Worryingly for Bottas and anyone else wanting to challenge Hamilton, the Brit says he’s playing it safe, operating “within a margin” that works for him.

“I think I was as relaxed last year. I think every year you get a bit more comfortable within yourself and within the methods you use and the processes you go through.

“Qualifying’s not been spectacular this year – still not perfect, there’s still work to be done – but the races have generally been relatively strong, bar that one not-so-great last one (in Austria).

“I still look after the car… if you look at Free Practice One I did three laps less than Valtteri, FP2 I did maybe one lap more. I’m always conscious of it.

“My trust in the car is incredibly high and I know what the car is able to do, so I guess the experience of last year has made me a bit more confident to push a bit more.

“Being that it is so close I need to try and eke a bit more out of the car and if it’s not strong enough we need to make it stronger.

“But the guys work within margins and I’ve been operating within a margin.

“Ultimately you want to get it to a point where it’s as close but safe as possible and I think that’s where I’m operating right now.”

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