Bottas can only ‘delay’ Hamilton in Turkey

Jamie Woodhouse
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton looks set to take his seventh World Championship at the Turkish GP, but Valtteri Bottas is out to delay him.

Heading into the Turkish Grand Prix Hamilton holds an 85-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship. The Finn is also the last driver who can deny Hamilton the 2020 crown.

And if Bottas fails to reduce that gap to 77 points after the Turkish Grand Prix then Hamilton is champion. The Finn must outscore Hamilton by at least eight points to extend the title fight into the Bahrain Grand Prix.

So, with the odds heavily against Bottas, at this stage he knows all he can do is delay his team-mate’s celebrations.

“It’s another race weekend and, as always, we’ve done all the work beforehand,” he told reporters at Istanbul Park.

“We’ll try to do the best job we can as a team and me, I shouldn’t think too much on the points or anything, but, for sure, I’ll try delay Lewis securing the title for as long as I can – that’s for sure.”

Bottas is looking forward to negotiating the challenging Istanbul circuit for the first time since 2011, and he expects the new tarmac which has been laid down to only enhance the challenge.

“I raced here with GP3 back in 2011, which is a while ago,” he said.

“Obviously, I remember some bits, but it’s going to be completely different in a Formula One car and I think it’s the same for everyone. Since some drivers have been here with Formula One, as Lewis said, there have been some pretty big steps in the sport, so it’s a bit of a new track for everyone, so that’s good.

“As we’ve seen in Portugal, I think the big thing is going to be understanding the new surface, the tarmac that has been laid as I think it’s going to be pretty slippery.”

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Ahead of the Turkish GP it was announced that in 2021 the all-female W Series will join the Formula 1 support calendar for eight events.

Bottas is in a relationship with Australian professional cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, so he is looking forward to seeing the increased exposure that the W Series will now get, saying female sports don’t get the coverage that their entertainment value deserves.

“I think many women’s sports are so interesting to follow but it’s difficult to watch, difficult to find the coverage,” he told Sky F1.

“So I think it’s going to be more visible, the ones who succeed and impress they are going to be more visible and that’s going to create more opportunities for them which they fully deserve.

“I think it’s a really good addition.”

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