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Monday, November 29, 2021

Bottas and Verstappen quickest lap duel merely ‘enjoying video games’

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With the world championship battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton so shut, their team-mates have been used at races this yr to strive to remove quickest lap factors.

In Mexico, with Valtteri Bottas exterior of the factors following his Flip 1 incident, Mercedes made a late swap to softs for the Finn to take the quickest lap away from Verstappen.

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However, throughout his first try to set a time, Verstappen knew that Bottas was shut behind him on monitor so backed off in entrance of the Finn – scuppering his hopes.

Bottas then handed Verstappen, who then argued that the Mercedes driver ought to observe blue flag guidelines and decelerate to let him again by.

In the long run, Mercedes elected to pit Bottas once more to attempt to discover him some clear air – which they did and he duly secured the quickest lap.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff stated he didn’t see something improper in what Verstappen did.

“Yeah, it was a little bit of enjoying round,” he defined.

“Max was conscious that Valtteri was going for quickest lap and he then slowed him down, which is totally on, he can try this.

“So we went for an additional set, and this time in free air grabbed that quickest lap again.”

Toto Wolff, Group Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Toto Wolff, Group Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Crimson Bull workforce boss Christian Horner defined that these moments with Bottas had been a reason behind transient concern, however in the long run reckoned it was dealt with effectively.

“It actually did not assist our blood strain on the pit wall,” he stated.

“Clearly there was just a little little bit of enjoying round, as a result of Max was eager to retain the quickest lap.

“So subsequently he was attempting to make use of the blue flag to make sure that Valtteri gave strategy to him, after which Mercedes pitted him out of the way in which. We weren’t going to do the identical with Max, clearly.

“It was just a little little bit of gamesmanship once more, haggling over that last level, which we did not wish to get too drawn into.”

Verstappen himself stated he was effectively conscious within the race what Bottas was as much as, however was by no means anxious about any potential contact.

“I can perceive, after all, they go for the quickest lap,” he stated.

“So, the primary time it didn’t work out. However we performed it protected, I feel.

“We had been aspect by aspect however it was all good. We misplaced loads of time however it was alright, to be sincere, for me. I do know Valtteri, he’s a clear driver anyway and I by no means was unsure that one thing would occur.”

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