Hamilton thanks 'gentleman' Bottas for letting him pass

Hamilton thanks 'gentleman' Bottas for letting him pass

Valtteri Bottas allowed Lewis Hamilton to pass in the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Briton was truly grateful.

Lewis Hamilton thanked Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas after the Briton was allowed to take second place from the Finn late in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Bottas, who started on pole for the first time in his career, had struggled with tyre problems throughout, and found himself some way short of Hamilton's pace in the closing stages.

With eventual winner Sebastian Vettel surging clear, Bottas was asked to let Hamilton pass to give Mercedes the best chance of reeling in the Ferrari driver.

The gap proved too big to bridge but Hamilton was grateful for Bottas' display of team spirit.

"Congratulations to Seb and thank you to Valtteri for being a gentleman out there," he said on the podium.

"I tried my hardest to catch up [with Vettel] but it was a long way to go. I gave it everything I could.

"Ferrari did a great job. We will regather as a team and come back fighting."

Bottas admitted the instruction to concede second place was a tough one to take.

"I think honestly as a racing driver it's the worst thing you want to hear," he commented. "That's how it is but for sure I did it because there was potential Lewis could challenge Sebastian. 

"Lewis had to try, which I understand, but personally it is tough.

"But that's life. I didn't have enough pace and we need to find the reasons why.

"It was a really tricky race for me. I struggled with pace all through the race. We had an issue with tyre pressure in the first stint but in all the stints we were rear limited. It's a real shame as the target was a lot, lot higher.

"Overall this was my best weekend with the team but there is more to come."

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