John Floyd
Motorsport columnist
2 minute read
25 Aug 2021
11:33 am

FLOYD ON F1: Importance of a wingman

John Floyd

As is often the case, teams' number two drivers can influence outcome of a race.

WINGMAN: Valterri Bottas has played a big role in many of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton's victories over the years. Photo by Gabriel Bouys - Pool/Getty Images.

Hark back to the Hungarian Grand Prix where Alpine’s Esteban Ocon took his first F1 victory with team-mate Fernando Alonso in a solid fourth spot. Remember how the Spaniard’s defensive drive held back the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton for 10 laps, allowing Ocon to top the podium? Comments, mainly from patriotic Brits, insisted Alonso was blocking Hamilton. Perhaps they do not recognise the ability to legally defend your position. If the Alpine driver had been “blocking”, we would have heard from the ever vigilant race stewards. The concept of racing as a team is a vital factor in most disciplines...