Wolff praises 'great team member' Bottas after British GP

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff heaped praise on Valtteri Bottas for his contribution to the team during the British Grand Prix weekend.

The Finn, who's future at the Brackley-based squad is uncertain, did all he could to help Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, offering a tow in qualifying before swiftly adhering to a team order to let him by during the race.

"If I look at the whole picture, as a team, it was obviously a great day for us in terms of points – and for Lewis as well, being able to win the race," Bottas, who ultimately finished third on Sunday, said.

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"For me, what compromised the race and being able to fight for the race win was the race start in both occasions: the first race start and then obviously with the red flag.

"On both starts, I was wheel-spinning quite a bit, a bit like Lewis yesterday and that made it a bit more difficult."

In his post-race interview, Bottas also revealed his drinks system had failed, leaving him pretty thirsty by the chequered flag on the hottest day in the UK so far this year.

But assessing Valtteri's British GP overall, Wolff went beyond just what he did to help Hamilton.

“He had a brilliant weekend in my opinion because he could have been on pole if he would have had a tow on Friday night and that was obviously impacting his performance,” explained the Austrian.

“He was very quick [in the race], he drove a really solid race and just Lewis coming from behind on that hard [tyre] was just in another dimension to everyone else on track.

“But Valtteri was the second-quickest car out there and helped for Lewis to secure the way and Valtteri’s just a great team member and great driver with the right character and personality.”

Earlier this year, Bottas had been more reluctant to help Hamilton during the Spanish GP, but from now on it appears he will comply.

“It is very important because statistically his odds to win the championship are very small compared to Lewis, who is very much in the fight,” said Wolff.

“And we have discussed that, and as tough as it is for a driver, there is no room for margin here in this year’s championship.”