Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children
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Valtteri Bottas has vowed the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be a fitting climax to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s hunt for a record eighth Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship.
Hamilton has been embroiled in a heated title battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in 2021 but heads into the final instalment with all the momentum.
Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was one of the most turbulent in recent memory, including crashes, collisions, contact and chaos.
Hamilton bettered Verstappen in an incredible showdown to secure his third successive victory and increase the pressure on the Dutchman.
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The two contenders now enter the Abu Dhabi GP level on 369.5 points, setting up an incredible finale to their rivalry this season.
Bottas was also involved in drama, pipping Esteban Ocon metres from the chequered flag to secure a podium spot and tighten Mercedes’ grip on yet another Constructors’ Championship.
After the race, Bottas explained that the first red flag was the start of many difficulties for Mercedes on a tough night, despite their eventual success.
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He said: “Obviously, everything started with the first red flag: it was a bit unlucky for us – very unlucky for us as a team.
“And then, on the restart with the hard tyres, we were on the back foot and lost some places. It was a tough race; there was no time to race – it was pretty intense.
“Esteban [Ocon] had a good race – they were actually surprisingly quick and we could not easily get him. But yeah, got him just at the end – just kept pushing and it was worth it today not to give up.”
And Bottas has tipped next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to make for a thrilling conclusion to one of the most incredible title fights in history.
He also suggested it’ll be an emotional outing on a personal level, as his 101st race for Mercedes will be his last.
“Yeah, a good day for that, and obviously with Lewis and Max [Verstappen] now on equal points, it’s going to be a pretty exciting race in Abu Dhabi,” Bottas added.
“I feel good. One more to go with the team. I think it’s going to be emotional, even for a Finn, so looking forward to it.”
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