Valtteri Bottas had no issue with Mercedes’ decision to rein in a race with Lewis Hamilton in Germany, but he plans to take on the Formula One champion again in a bid to end his wait for a win.
Bottas is without a victory in 11 consecutive races – his worst run since joining Mercedes – and his hopes were dashed at the Hockenheimring as team orders denied him the opportunity to attack Hamilton.
Hamilton led after Bottas pitted under the safety car, following Sebastian Vettel’s crash, and the team-mates briefly battled before Mercedes told the Finn to drop back.
Despite his personal frustration, Bottas understood the call – Mercedes having suffered misfortune in previous weeks – and is confident it did not set the tone for the remainder of the season.
“I believe we’re still allowed to race freely. Obviously it always goes case-by-case, but there is no plan in place at the moment for me to be in a support role,” Bottas said ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“We are still on equal terms and that is the plan for now. Hopefully it will continue until the end of the year.
“With all the difficult races we had in the triple-header [France, Austria and Britain] – we lost so many points through different causes – I get the team’s decision after one lap.
“We were side by side a couple of times and they wanted to get those points. I’m very confident they would have done the same if I was in the lead at that point.”
Discussing his current disappointing run, Bottas added: “I’ve always been really hungry for the wins. The longer it goes from winning a race – knowing you’re in a car where, each week, there is the opportunity for that – you really want to win.
“It was not meant to be again [in Germany]. There were different things happening in the race. When Sebastian went off, I was leading. But with the state of my tyres and the rain, I had no option but to stop.
“That’s life. I’m not the only one these things are happening to.”