Valtteri Bottas’s title challenge didn’t really kick off in 2018 and in the second half he was forced to perform duties of a wingman, helping Lewis Hamilton win his 5th world title.
The infamous wingman word came into the fore following the Hungarian GP, wherein Bottas held off the Ferraris in order to help Hamilton win the GP.
Wolff said it out loud during the post race interview, congratulating Bottas for his splendid wingman duties during the grand prix.
Bottas had later admitted that the comment hurt him.
“In today’s race, starting P2, after lap one, Valtteri’s race was the perfect wingman race – and I don’t mean it in championship terms, because we have no number one, we have no number two, but it was just how he was racing.” Wolff had later clarified.
How’s he an average driver when he was the best of the midfield from 2014-2016 and beat Vettel in a Red Bull with a Williams in 2014?
People forget Mercedes hired Bottas for a reason. pic.twitter.com/QT2z0Agb27
— Ben (@benfouF1) October 22, 2018
Ever since that comment, the word wingman and Bottas have gone hand in hand, as Mercedes have constantly used him in such a manner after the summer break in order to help Lewis secure the title.
From the last 2 races I expect: Hamilton to give a win to Bottas if he can, Mercedes WC and some “tripping major nut-sack” racing from everyone. #F1
— Pep #F1 (@F1Podcast) November 1, 2018
The team orders imposed during the Russian GP did leave Bottas a little short on confidence but he admitted that he needed to do it for the team.
Now, with Lewis having already won the title, Bottas had spoken about how he would be approaching the 2019 season, and if he would continue to be Lewis’ wingman.
Bottas has conceded that he was helping Lewis win the title during the latter of the season, but will be rearing to go in 2019, with the title on his mind. He is adamant that he wants to show Formula 1 and Mercedes that he too is capable of winning the title.
“The good thing is that Lewis won the title. He really deserves this title. It was another strong season for him, especially the second half.
Congratulations Lewis for the 5th World Championship title!
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) October 28, 2018
“Obviously, he has done great things in Formula One so far, and he still has much more time ahead of him. He’s had a great year overall and not many setbacks.
“When I lost my opportunity for the title this year, I tried to help him a little to win the World Championship, but now I’m already looking forward to the fight again next year.” Bottas said.
Do you think Bottas can challenge Hamilton and Vettel for the title in 2019 or is he not good enough to challenge for the title despite having the best car on the grid?
An interesting last two races and the 2019 season awaits us.