“Would have been a serious fallout”: Palmer says Hamilton saved teammate Bottas from Toto fury

Former Renault Formula One driver Jolyon Palmer seems to think that Valtteri Bottas would have had to endure the anger of Toto Wolff if Lewis Hamilton would have lost the Spanish GP.

The seven-time world champion managed to score his 98th Grand Prix victory after a flawless performance after chasing down Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

This led Hamilton to extend his lead to 14 points over the Dutchman.

Valtteri Bottas, on the other hand, found himself in the shadows of his decorated teammate. His career at Mercedes has been termed as more of a ‘supportive role’ within the team.

There have been many instances where the Finn was told to allow the Brit to overtake him on the track.

However, in Spain, he ignored the call which led to Hamilton competing with his own teammate.

The 31-year-old’s defiance of the team’s instructions could have ended up hampering his career at Mercedes.

Palmer seems to think that Mercedes would not have been impressed with Bottas had Hamilton failed to win. It could have led to harsh consequences for the Finn.

“In Barcelona, you could argue Bottas was actually more helpful to Verstappen than Hamilton in the Grand Prix,” Palmer wrote in his column for the F1 website.

“Hamilton winning has meant Mercedes can gloss over the fact, but if he had narrowly missed out, there would have been a serious fallout from the situation.”

Even though Bottas probably angered many from the Mercedes team, Palmer was able to sympathise with the driver.

What did Palmer say?

“From a driver’s point of view, getting out of the way of your teammate in a race can often feel like the final nail in the coffin for the afternoon,” he said.

“Particularly if you are on a different strategy, which is usually the reason you are being told to move out of the way in the first place. It shows clearly that your team is fully backing your team mate and relatively disregarding your chances at that stage.

Jolyon Palmer. Source: theguardian.com

“But whilst it’s frustrating, you’ve got to consider things on a case-by-case basis, and fundamentally remember who pays the bills.

“If Bottas had been asked to give up a win on Sunday then I’m sure there would be some question marks again, and maybe he wouldn’t have obliged at all.

“But this call from Mercedes helped Hamilton to win the race, at no cost to Bottas – he was pretty set in third whatever happened.”

There are hopes of Bottas sealing a victory at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton has no beef with Bottas

Hamilton revealed that there is no tension between the two drivers. He was, in fact, unaware of Bottas being instructed to give him the position.

“We’re the best teammates,” Hamilton told reporters. “Honestly, I didn’t know that he had a message, so in my mind I was like: ‘We’re racing’.

“And that’s totally fine for me, particularly early on in this part of the season. So in my mind I was like: ‘I have to get close and go for an overtake’.

“We were on massively different strategies, so I was going to get him at some stage because I had much better tyres. We were going into Turn 10 and I thought there was a gap there but I wasn’t quite sure, and then there was a gap and Valtteri was completely fair – I hope I didn’t lose him much time.

“This is how we win as a team. Sometimes we’re in that position where we have to put the team first.”

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