Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas says teammate Lewis Hamilton “deserved” to win at Abu Dhabi and be crowned world champion for the eighth time.
Hamilton was overtaken by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in a nail-biting final lap at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final race of the season, which saw the Dutchman claim his debut drivers’ crown title.
While Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had reportedly sent a text of congratulations to Verstappen, saying how he had deserved to win the title, Bottas said on F1’s website how he himself had felt “gutted” because he felt the opposite.
For Bottas, who finished runner up in the drivers’ standings in both 2019 and 2020, a new and fresh adventure awaits. He said he felt proud about everything he and Hamilton had achieved together over the years. Bottas joined Mercedes during the run-up to the 2017 Formula One season when he succeeded Nico Rosberg.
Also adding his voice to the world title drama this week had been Sebastian Vettel, a four-time world title holder. Vettel said while he felt happy for Verstappen, he felt pity for Hamilton. Nevertheless, he added that the race at Abu Dhabi had marked an incredible and riveting end to the 2021 season. He said while he honestly didn’t really care who won between Verstappen and Hamilton, to his mind, both deserve to win the championship. He said the final race of the season had been good for the sport in many ways.
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