HomeSportsFormula 1Wasn't Allowed to be in Contention for World Title: Valtteri Bottas

Wasn’t Allowed to be in Contention for World Title: Valtteri Bottas

Valteri Bottas, who is going to leave Mercedes at the end of the year, has revealed that he felt that he wasn’t allowed to compete for the world title earlier this year while his teammate Lewis Hamilton took the lead. “At least earlier in the season, I felt like I wasn’t allowed anymore for the contention, but you never know. We go race by race. I think in Formula 1 you just never know how the season will progress. There is still a fair amount of races, so never say never,” the Finnish driver revealed.

Bottas will be leaving Mercedes for Alfa Romeo, ending his five year stint at the team where he finished as runner up twice behind Lewis Hamilton.

“For me personally, coming here is different, so the only thing that’s in my mind is winning. That’s the only thing that matters to me and at least that is my approach for this week,” he added, hinting that he may not be as cooperative towards Hamilton as he has been previously.

Valtteri Bottas led team mate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets as Mercedes dominated the opening day of Formula One practice for the Russian Grand Prix, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid.

Bottas, who led Hamilton in both of Friday’s sessions, ended the day with a fastest time of one minute 33.593 seconds, with the Briton just 0.044 seconds behind his team mate. Hamilton’s hopes of finally clinching a landmark 100th win and possibly retaking the championship lead received a boost, with Red Bull opting to fit title rival and championship leader Verstappen’s car with a fresh engine that triggered penalties.

The Dutchman, who leads Hamilton by five points in the overall standings and was already carrying a three-place grid penalty for a crash that took both drivers out of the last race in Monza, was third and sixth quickest, respectively, in Friday’s two sessions.

(With Reuters inputs)

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