Former F1 racer Timo Glock has questioned Valtteri Bottas’ motivation “to drive forward to support Lewis Hamilton” against Max Verstappen.
Hamilton and Verstappen have been locked in an intense fight for this year’s F1 crown since lights out in Bahrain, and both Mercedes and Red Bull have, on occasion, used their team-mates to help their chances in the Championship battle.
The seven-time World Champion comfortably won last weekend’s Qatar GP, but he had to do it without the support of Bottas, who started down the order due to a grid penalty.
While Verstappen, who was also hit with a grid penalty for ignoring double waved yellow flags in qualifying, quickly worked his way up to a podium position, Bottas initially struggled and took a while to recover.
Speaking this week, Glock suggested Bottas doesn’t seem particularly interested in helping his team-mate – and he believes Hamilton and Verstappen “are on their own” to win this year’s F1 WDC.
“He’s never in a position where you realise that he really wants to drive forward to support Lewis Hamilton,” Glock said in an interview with Sky Germany.
“He drives his races without taking any risks and he always need motivation from Toto Wolff.
“I think Lewis and Max are on their own to decide the Championship,” he added.
Meanwhile, former Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa said it’s important that Bottas gives Mercedes his all until the last race, even though the team ditched him to make space for George Russell.
“I’m afraid the team has turned their backs on him a bit,” Massa told Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
Asked if he believes Bottas’ motivation has been affected by Mercedes dropping him, the Brazilian said: “It depends on the driver’s mind. I had Ferrari in my heart and I gave my best until the last lap.
“Valtteri is a serious professional and I’m sure he will even try to win. He also needs it for the future,” Massa added.