Valtteri Bottas has called for an urgent meeting with his Mercedes bosses after being left angered by comments he is Lewis Hamilton‘s wingman.
The usually cool and collected Finn was reeling in his post-race interview when the comments of his boss Toto Wolff – who labelled Bottas a ‘sensational wingman’ – were relayed to him.
After looking in control in second place, a masterclass in defensive driving, it all went wrong for Bottas when he was clipped by Sebastian Vettel causing serious damage to his front wing.
Valtteri Bottas was left seething at comments by boss Toto Wolff that he is a ‘wingman’
The usually cool and collected Finn demanded a meeting with his superiors over his role
Bottas’ race went into meltdown on lap 66 as he was clipped by Sebastian Vettel and lost P2
The Mercedes driver then clipped Daniel Ricciardo, forcing him to swap places to avoid a penalty as his team-mate cruised to his fifth victory of the season.
When asked where the positives lay in Budapest, Bottas was in no mood to search for them and ‘wingman’ proved the final straw.
‘What positives? First of all wingman hurts,’ he told SkySportsF1.
‘There are no positives from today. We thought in theory we should have been able to do that one stop. We had to stop earlier than we wanted because of Kimi (Raikkonen), we had to cover him, and still 20 laps before the end everything was feeling OK with good control and the pace and my position.
Major damage to his front wing left him valiantly trying to claw back his second place
The Mercedes driver had nowhere to go on old tyres as he was under pressure from Ferrari
‘But the rear tyres started to die. I tried to defend the best I could, as aggressive as I could, but it just ended up being a bit of a mess in the end with the broken front wing and everything.’
When asked whether he had to simply accept playing second fiddle to Hamilton, Bottas revealed he wants an urgent meeting with bosses to establish his position in the team.
‘We need to speak after this race. We are over halfway through the year and the points gap is big so I’m sure the team will decide at some point,’ he continued.
But despite airing his views about talking with Wolff live on television, Bottas claimed his comments were ‘out of context’ via his official twitter account.
The Finn wrote: ‘Some out of context news around.. I have not called a meeting with the bosses for Toto saying I was the perfect wingman in this race. There is no need to. I was disapponted (sic) with my end result in the race and saw everything in a negative way for a moment. I know what he ment (sic).
Despite speaking on live TV, Bottas later suggested his comments were not at all ‘negative’
The driver tweeted that Wolff would have made the same remarks even if it was Hamilton
‘And he would have said the same about Lewis if he’d be in same situation and had a similar race.
We are on equal terms and I trust the team 100% on that. All good. We’ll keep pushing! It’ll come. #VB77 @MercedesAMGF1′
The two late collisions became a major talking point in what proved a relatively quiet race before the summer break.
Bottas played down both collisions as he fixated on the comments of his boss which clearly struck a chord.
After the race concluded, he was handed a 10-second penalty, and two points on his licence but there was to be no change to the final result.