Bottas will ‘prioritise own performance’ in Monaco

Date published: May 23 2021

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas has made it clear he won’t be helping Lewis Hamilton in Monaco, saying he will “prioritise” his own result.

Last time out in Spain, Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton by as the Brit, running on fresher tyres in a two-stop strategy, was battling Max Verstappen for the win.

Bottas didn’t exactly roll over, making Hamilton race for the position.

Hamilton went on to claim the Spanish Grand Prix win, Bottas was third.

This time around in Monaco the fortunes of the two Mercedes team-mates has turned around with Bottas starting third on the grid and Hamilton down in seventh place.

The championship leader struggled with a “pretty terrible” W12 whereas Bottas believed pole position would have been his were it not for Charles Leclerc’s late crash that brought out the red flags and ensured the Ferrari driver bagged the coveted grid slot.

But with Hamilton leading the title fight, 14 points ahead of Verstappen, and Bottas some 47 off his team-mate’s pace, it has raised the question of whether Mercedes could call on the Finn to assist his team-mate this Sunday.

Bottas isn’t open to the idea if it means hurting his own prospects.

 

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“It depends on what I am asked to do,” he said.

“As a driver, you always prioritise your own performance, your own race.

“In situations like Barcelona, Lewis and I weren’t on the same strategy, I wasn’t fighting for the victory, so the situation was different.

“Other than that, generally speaking I always prioritise my race.

“It’s a team sport, but it’s also about the individual and between my interests and those of the team, I choose mine.”

The 31-year-old added that he is in Formula 1 to win a World title, and will do everything he can to make that happen.

“I am in F1 to pursue my dream – to become World Champion,” he said. “I give everything I have for that and then we’ll see what will happen.”

Bottas’ comments come just days after former F1 driver David Coulthard questioned whether the Finn had already been told that his time at Mercedes will be over at the end of this season.

Bottas will line up on the Monaco Grand Prix grid chasing his first win of this season.

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