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Motor Racing

F1 German GP: Valtteri Bottas ready for Williams win but Jenson Button left puzzled by hit

Button was hit by fellow Brit Hamilton

A third podium in a row left Formula One’s latest superstar Valtteri Bottas quietly happy, but suggested there was more to come from the revived Williams team.

“Lewis [Hamilton] was riding my tail the last few laps and for me it was just really, really important to always get a good exit on to the straights and to brake as late as possible for the hairpin,” Bottas said. “And I got all the support from the engineers to get the right engine modes for defending. It feels really good to be on the podium for a third time in a row, but I think we’re aiming for more than that now.”

As he celebrated, team-mate Felipe Massa criticised Kevin Magnussen with whom he collided at the first corner, tipping the Brazilian’s car upside down.

“I was doing the corner in front of him,” Massa said. “Normally the car behind has to brake. At that corner you cannot have three cars side-by-side. It is normally a guy who comes from GP2 who causes these accidents...”

Massa was unharmed by his impromptu inversion, which followed a heavy collision with Sergio Perez in Canada and getting caught up in Kimi Raikkonen’s big crash at Silverstone. “It was scarier watching it than being inside,” he conceded. “I’m fine. But I’m so disappointed.”

Magnussen, who had been unsighted, said: “I think I could’ve had a decent race if I hadn’t had the accident at turn one. I feel that, if I’d had somewhere to go, there wouldn’t have been contact with Felipe. I did my best to try and avoid the accident,  but there wasn’t much else I could do.” The stewards agreed with him.


His team-mate Jenson Button, eighth, was at a loss to explain being hit by Hamilton, who had thought Button was letting him by.

“Why would we let anyone through?” Button asked. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but a lot of drivers do that line to get a good exit from the corner. I think the problem with Lewis is he expected me to let him past. I don’t think I’m the only person he drove into today. It’s strange, when the car’s so much quicker you’d think he wouldn’t get into so many fights, but there you go.”

There were some cheerful drivers, and two of them were in Red Bulls. “It was fun with Fernando [Alonso] today – we started maybe where we left off in Silverstone,” Sebastian Vettel laughed, after finishing a fighting fourth. “It was quite entertaining and at one point it was quite tight with both the Ferraris, but we managed to stay ahead.”

His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was bubbling, after being separated from Alonso by 0.082sec as they crossed the finish line fifth and sixth.

“That was awesome fun, one of my most enjoyable races I’ve had. These are the moments and battles that I personally thrive off  and enjoy. Fernando is known to be a tough racer and I thought who better to have a good fight with? I gave it the best fight I could.”