Bottas will not back up Vettel to aid Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas

Austrian Grand Prix pole position starter Valtteri Bottas says he will not back up Sebastian Vettel during the race in an attempt to help Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton was third fastest in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, but will start eighth thanks to a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

This puts him six places behind world championship rival Vettel, who starts on the front row alongside Bottas.

“From what I have seen in the pre-race strategy notes, that kind of plan is not on those notes,” said Bottas.

“We need to focus on trying to have a good start to the race and we need to win the race.

“Lewis can fight back from where he is starting. If you start playing games it gets tricky, if the car behind gets DRS and the slipstream, then with just one mistake they can get the win.”

Hamilton believes there is no point in Bottas attempting to help him and has backed him to go all-out for victory.

“It makes no sense for Valtteri to slow down, so he will push as hard as he can to win the race,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton, who finished second from ninth on the grid in 2014, admitted he is not thinking of victory tomorrow.

“Valtteri has been quickest all weekend, so it’s not really in my mind at the moment,” added Hamilton.

“I am pretty sure back then [2014] there was a bigger difference of speed delta with the other cars.

“It is more unlikely than it was then, but I will give it everything I can and of course I will be happy if I get up there.”

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