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Valtteri Bottas

Bottas gutted: I feel like I lost the title along with Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas was disappointed not to have been able to help teammate Lewis Hamilton win the title in Abu Dhabi.

To news overview © Mercedes AMG F1

Valtteri Bottas has admitted he was "gutted" that Lewis Hamilton didn't win the Drivers' Championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he felt his teammate had deserved it on the day.

Bottas had a largely anonymous race at the Yas Marina Circuit, finishing in sixth after starting from the same position.

Unable to help Hamilton at the front, Bottas was left on his own at the end of the race as Mercedes withdrew to their base to concentrate on lodging two protests with the stewards before the hearings.

As a result, he said that he hadn't been able to speak with anyone from his team, but could feel the enormity of the loss.

"I feel like I lost the championship"

Speaking after the race, Bottas commented: "I haven't seen anyone yet, but I can feel it. We wanted to get both titles.

"Getting the Constructors' [Championship] again is huge. But at the same time, it hurts that Lewis didn't get the Drivers' [Championship] because, even for me, I feel like I lost the championship because he lost it!"

With Hamilton losing the title as a result of a late Safety Car bringing Verstappen back into play, Bottas said it was just simple bad luck that cost Hamilton.

"I'm sure they [Race Control] make the decisions for safety. If there's a car sideways next to a barrier, there were men on the track... normally you need a Safety Car, so [it was] just unlucky.

"I really feel gutted for him, because I feel like he deserved it today. He had a great start, great race. Then things change like this.

"But you know, that's the sport, that's how it goes. Sometimes it goes against [you], or sometimes it goes for you, but today was not our day."

Looking ahead to the next challenge

Bottas now moves to Alfa Romeo, with which he will be testing at the Yas Marina Circuit this week at the post-race session.

Departing Mercedes after five years together, he admitted to some "mixed emotions" as he walks out of the door to his new team.

"It's time for something new. I'm really, really proud and thankful [for] what we've achieved together, we've done great things," he added.

"It maybe wasn't the best race to finish it, but we need to look at the big picture.

"We won five Constructors' and with Lewis we are the most successful teammate pairing in the history of Formula 1, so it's kind of sad to leave. But of course, I look forward to the future."

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