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Bottas accepts finishing P2 to Hamilton was his 'job' in Suzuka

Written by  Oct 07, 2018

Valtteri Bottas conceded performing his 'wingman' duties was his main "job" after finishing second to Lewis Hamilton at the Japanese Grand Prix.

After the team orders controversy in Sochi, Sunday's race at Suzuka was much more straightforward for Mercedes as they eased to yet another one-two finish, their third in four races.

While the Finn didn't have the pace to really challenge Hamilton, even if he had Bottas believes it wouldn't have made a difference.

“I think yesterday was the decisive moment in qualifying,” he admitted. "After the race start when I was second I kind of knew how the race was going to be.

“I knew what my job was today, it was then to bring the car home in P2. That is what I did really.”

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It wasn't as easy as it sounded, however, with the 29-year-old hunted down by Max Verstappen in his Red Bull. Ultimately, despite a few errors, the straight line speed of the Silver Arrow meant his position was never really threatened.

“There was no panic. It might have looked more difficult with Max than what it actually was but it felt like a good margin,” he admitted.

“I had some blistering though but it was not a massive concern and many times during the race I could manage [the tyres] and save the engine.”

Bottas does think it would have been a different story if the car behind had been red, however.

“This weekend we were lucky that Ferrari was not challenging us because they did some mistakes,” he said.

“It was Red Bull and we don’t think Red Bull has as much pace as Ferrari.”

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