Bottas says he’s “more or less” matching Maldonado

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas believes he’s on a par with Pastor Maldonado at Williams.


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Rookie diary – with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (F1)

“I think my performances relative to Pastor (Maldonado) have been pretty good. Pastor is experienced – it’s already his third year at Williams – and I would say that I match him more-or-less. I can’t really point at one particular thing that I’ve learned from him, but of course you pick up things, especially at a track like Monaco that I didn’t know before this season. I was reading his data very carefully to see how he was doing it.”

Esteban shares experience with his fans in a Q&A session! (Estenan Gutierrez)

“Did the new rear wing make the difference?
EG: It made a difference in terms of stability in curves because we had the problem that we had very little room for mistakes and now the new wing has helped us to improve there; the downside is that we lost straight speed and now we have to work on that to improve speed and keep stability. That is why it was so difficult to overtake.”

Vettel may quit within five years (BBC)

“Perhaps I will no longer be driving in five years’ time because I no longer have the urge to. Perhaps I will compete for another team in five years because I feel ready for a fresh challenge.”

Kovalainen Parts Company With IMG (Speed)

“I’m working on my own now but right now, there are no discussions with anybody else. I’m just focusing on working with Caterham and trying to help the team to move forward this year.”

Brawn says Hamilton just needs time (Autosport)

“I think it is quite a subtle thing, but it will just be time quite frankly.. It is just working out how the driver communicates, how you understand what it is he wants to achieve, how you tune the car to suit his needs.”

“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win tomorrow’s games” – Mercedes (NBC)

Toto Woff: “Our car has been on pole position for the last four races, which shows our basic speed, so the focus in that time has been on improving our performance on Sunday afternoons.”

Good Times in Monaco (Force India)

“The race in Monaco is unique. Everyone says you can’t overtake here. Everyone knows any mistake, no matter how small, can put an end to your race. Despite a lot of safety improvements, it’s still an old school track that rewards a driver’s skill, bravery and precision. For two hours – even more, given the red flag – we watched the race unfold, on the edge of our seats. Screaming at every overtaking manoeuvre. Enjoying two inspired drives by Adrian and Paul, who would have surely been the top picks if any official ‘Driver of the Race’ award was given.”



This Greaves Motorsport LMP2 Zytek Z11SN-Nissan will carry Caterham’s colours in the Le Mans 24 Hours and be driven by their F1 test driver and GP2 race Alexander Rossi. More on it here.

Comment of the day

Some words of consolation for Adrian Newey following his crash at the weekend from SouthAussie94:

Reminds me of when Australian Rules Footballer Jason Akermanis raced in a V8 Supercars support category a few years back.

Sorry Adrian but Jason wins the “Best Crash on the Warm-Up Lap” award…
SouthAussie94 (@Mpj1994)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Nathan Bradley and Alexf1Man!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Lotus finished first and second for the second race in a row in the Spanish Grand Prix held 35 years ago today. Unlike in Belgium two weeks previously both winner Mario Andretti and second-placed Ronnie Peterson were in the new Lotus 79.

Jacques Laffite came third for Ligier. James Hunt took the lead at the start but it only took Andretti five laps to pass him:

Image © Williams/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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56 comments on “Bottas says he’s “more or less” matching Maldonado”

  1. I have a feeling the “lack of urge” comments may be related to the fact the conservative driving in races is frustrating him. If the drivers don’t like it and that is the case then a change needs made – the fans aren’t happy if the are no happy drivers!

    1. Well, at least he’s giving it five years… ;-)

      1. Just enough time to pass Schuey’s records? lol

    2. I’ll just say I completely disagree with you, with everything you said, so please don’t use global “fans” term to describe your personal view, or rather, your personal wish for a shift in balance with tires in order to help your favorite driver get a better results.

      1. I find the hypocrisy in your comment amusing obviously: you seem to reckon you are speaking on behalf of all fans also!

        What I’m pointing out is that of the lead drivers few of them seem particularly satisfied with pushing “90% or less” and this applies not only to Vettel but Alonso and Hamilton to name a few. This is usually always followed by “it makes the fans happy” but does it? That’s where I’m coming from.

        However, I do realise Vettel’s comments were really just clouding over any potential move he may make in the future: he’s just muddying the waters so speculation is still rife.

    3. the fans aren’t happy if the are no happy drivers!

      I have seen you many times happy when other drivers other than Sebastian Vettel are frustrating and your comments were “Button just drive the car & stop complaining…..Alonso stop mind games & politics & focus on racing Lewis…..”
      So this theory doesn’t always apply to all the fans including you (& myself to be honest)

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        4th June 2013, 2:50

        +1, neither for me @tifoso1989, cause we are humans and we can be stubborn sometimes, even when you (and me) can try to give “fair” opinions all the time,because sometimes, it’s just your Rosso pulse (and my RB blood) to bend the truth whenever we say more then what’s real.

      2. @tifoso1989 oh absolutely but I’ve not seen many incredibly happy drivers recently!

        1. oh absolutely but I’ve not seen many incredibly happy drivers recently!

          @vettel1 from happy to incredibly happy…? Oh wait, I think I have seen at least 3-4 podiums so far this season where drivers were happy ;)

          1. @seahorse deliberate exaggeration.

            I’m not saying the drivers are still not happy when they are winning as that is always the case unless there are adverse circumstances but the fact they are making a point of mentioning they aren’t driving flat out is telling for me that they aren’t entirely satisfied with the situation, particularly Vettel.

            It’s still okay now but we can’t have drivers losing interest.

      3. Oh and I’ve just noticed a silly typo since you drew attention to it @tifoso1989, *there instead of ‘the’!

        @npf1 very true; I’m not really doubting the fact though he’s just throwing that comment in there to fuel the fire but the fact he mentioned it at all said to me he isn’t particularly happy at the moment, especially considering his recent team radio spat!

    4. I really hate to make a Schumacher comparison, but I think Schumacher started talking about this subject in 1995/7 or so as well and look how that turned out.

    5. @vettel1 I think you’re a bit off on that one, somebody probably just asked him what plans does he have for his future

    6. Personally its making more of a by the way comment to avoid a question than should be @vettel1.

      That line from Vettel is in response to whether he will go to another team, and he more or less avoids an answer with saying that for now he is happy at Red Bull, but who knows what the future brings. Don’t worry, Vettel is unlikely to stop that soon (or maybe he will if he keeps on winning and amasses 8 titles in the next 5 years and gets as bored of it as we will be by that time!)

      1. Vettel’s comment sounds like he’s emulating Kimi again. And if Kimi couldn’t stay away from F1, I don’t think Seb will be able to :) I’m afraid he might go for the record of 10 WDCs, personally.
        Another reason behind this comment could be that Seb is starting to feel threatened or at least uncomfortable with the idea of having to drive in the same team with Kimi. If Kimi comes in, Seb wants out!

      2. People are hoping 2014 wil cut Newey’s Vettel’s streak…

    7. Fernando Cruz
      4th June 2013, 11:13

      Ironically Bruno Senna and Kamui Kobayashi can push much more and don’t need to drive as conservatively as it is the case now in F1. For those who can read portuguese I recommend the blog “Le Mans Portugal” and if anyone knows another one following WEC with so much insight and detail I’d like to know it. After 6 Hours of Silverstone “Le Mans Portugal” gave us all the details and comparisons between all GTE Pro drivers, including fastest laps, average pace and number of laps covered by each driver. The problem is that they haven’t done it yet after 6 Hours of Spa. Does anyone know a blog where we can find it?

    8. In other news, the world of formula one reports that the fans aren’t happy since Pastor Maldonado is not happy with the Williams’ car FW35.

      1. @seahorse on a serious note, I’m actually not :( I like Maldonado: the guy has some serious speed when he’s not crashing (which he has actually been quite good for this season)!

        1. @vettel1 the point is each one has their favorites, be it a team or a driver. You like Vettel and I like Alonso. How much ever we try to be an unbiased fan of F1 insofar it relates to other drivers and teams, it is obvious we would not be. So the proper way to say is ‘Fan of driver X (or team Y) is not happy because the said driver (or team) is not happy. ;)

          1. @seahorse that’s the thing though: I don’t think any driver is particularly happy with the level of conservation! Mind you, most tend to be happy if they’re winning but I would bet my last dollar on the fact drivers would prefer to be able to race flat-out for the whole race!

  2. quit not quite on the bbc article

  3. Is the Caterham LeMans car expected to do well in the LMP2 class or just potter around at the back? Looks pretty nice either way, and the Nissan engine presumable part of the Alpine/Caterham/Renault/Nissan partnership.

    1. Greaves Motorsport won the class in 2011, but I’m not sure what they did in 2012 or how they’re doing this year as a whole in the WEC or Euro Le Mans or whichever series they run full-time in.

      As for Nissan, out of the 24ish cars in the LMP2 class this year I think around 15 of them are Nissan powered with Honda & Judd making up the rest (the 2 Lotus cars will be running Judd engines branded as “Praga” which is a Czech based car company).

    2. I think they can be a realistic competitor for class podium really. It all depends on how many of them make it to the finish on the leading lap really @calum!

  4. Regarding Bottas, I cannot disagree with his assessment of his season so far. He certainly has done a much better job keeping his car on the track than his more experienced teammate. It really is too bad the Williams car has been so disappointing this year, especially considering their performance last season. Hope that the car gets better and Bottas has some good opportunities to really shine.

  5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    4th June 2013, 2:37

    Consider that in 5 years, it could also be the final year(s) for Alonso and Kimi (2nd and 3rd right now), so probably Seb mentions this term just as confirming that with 5 more years it will be enough to prove he is (or not) better than his “classic” rivals… That considering not any rookie comes “a la Seb” to break his records; that can motivate him to stay and to prove he can still be a champion and beat new wolves in the pack. I couldn’t follow F1 in 1994, but I imagine that if Senna had become champion that year, many would have stated it couldn’t be the same without Prost challenging him. Honestly, I can’t imagine Seb battling if Alonso or Lewis are not there. If Alonso retired NOW, Seb could win and break Schum’s records quite easily, but if he, someday, matches or breaks that record AND Alonso is still racing… that would be outstanding!

    1. He mentioned it more or less to avoid a serious answer to whether he would leave RBR in the future and where would he go @omarr-pepper – instead saying that by that time he might not even want to continue, it should not be taken too seriously

  6. It’s sadens me everytime I get reminded about that period. With Ronnie only was allowed to race if Andretti had crashed out. Sad about his death as well. He was on track to become WDC. At least he got the information how the team will work before he signed so he knew that things would change down the road things will be better.
    But sadly down the road was I fireball for him instead. Anyway, that is a way to become inmortal.

    F1 Should have more swedes that can follow what they say and never gets overexcited. Perfect for 2nd driver.

    1. I need to explain that I can’t come to Canada since I’m working this weekend. Sorry.

  7. @keithcollantine

    Toto Wolff played down the team’s chances of repeating their victory in the last waste at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

    Is that a spelling mistake or a Freudian slip ? ;-)

  8. Martin Brundle was at the Isle of Man TT races yesterday, he was given the honour of waving the starting flag for the Supersport race.

  9. “more or less matching” as in beating him…

    or staying out of trouble?

    or actually finishing races more than half the races he enter?

    or not crashing so much?

    1. @fer-no65 Matching him on points, that’s for sure. ;)

      1. Poor Williams. They were RedBull+ in the 90s. :(

  10. I don’t know what to think about Bottas, I never saw GP3 when he was around but I think the level of competition there compared with F1 has to be way different.
    Until we see both him and Pastor in a (more or less) competitive car I’ll hold my judgment.

    1. Bottas’ GP3 campaign was a weird one if that, never really looked the part during the first half of the season, but the second half was a different story scoring winning 4 times and being on the podium a further two times.
      So this could mean by round 9, we might see him become a regular point scorer.
      But i doubt that with the car he’s in.

      1. @bosley As I recall ART cracked their set-up mid-season and suddenly he and Calado were flying.

        1. @keithcollantine That would explain it. haha.

  11. That FI article was a nice read really.

    Otherwise – its pretty clear that Mercedes have been working on not dropping back in the races (all 1000 km of it, right Toto :-P ), but while I think we might see them on pole again (if it stays dry, otherwise I think Vettel could do it, or maybe Alonso), I am pretty sure they won’t be able to pace the whole field behind them this time.

  12. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    4th June 2013, 8:18

    Actually, Valtteri, I’d say that you are very much performing better than Maldonado this season.

    He’s the one who’s made a few ‘rookie’ errors, while you haven’t.

  13. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    4th June 2013, 8:59

    Interesting comment from Vettel, and for me, probably a very good excuse for a party. My glee aside, there is a great deal of sub-plot to this comment. Some will interpret this as Vettel planning to crown himself an eight time world champion and then duly retire…Prost style. However that is nonsense. For me Vettel is not looking forward to drive in the V6 era, or maybe feeling that Red Bull may not be all that competitive in the coming years. I think Vettel knows that the “works” teams of Mercedes and Ferrari will have the advantage in this “new era” of F1, and is probably thinking how he could get himself into a competitive car. Saying that, his options are limited. Mercedes’ drivers are locked down, whereas Ferrari, which the BBC have constantly linked Vettel to, have a whole host of driver queuing up to take Massa’s place in the shapes of Hulkenberg, Bianchi, Kobayashi, Kovalainen and successful Ferrari young driver, Raffaele Marciello. What you will notice is that none of those names are “Vettel”. There are simply too many good drivers in the roots and the branches of the Ferrari Young Driver Program to make the signing of an expensive world champion remotely justifiable, and I would imagine that Vettel didn’t exactly endear himself to the Scuderia when he showed outright defiance in Malaysia. So Sebastian, it’s 2018, your Red Bull is uncompetitive, your teammate Raikkonen is outperforming you, Mercedes don’t want you, Ferrari don’t want you, McLaren don’t want you; where to now?

    1. @william-brierty
      As many users have said already, Vettel is just answering a question about leaving Red Bull without having to answer it and thus his comment shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I think it’s very unlikely he’ll leave Formula One within five years and even more unlikely that he’s seriously even thinking about it at the moment.

      I also think that you are assuming way too much, if you think that by 2018 Vettel will still be at Red Bull, top teams are still the same and the driver situation hasn’t changed at any of the teams. Five years ago, in 2008, only Webber, Massa and Sutil were driving in the same team that they are now. It’s way too early to predict the line ups for 2018.

      1. @hotbottoms I agree with you. I think it’s just a simple, honest answer. I doubt if many of us are sure about what they are going to do in 2018.

    2. @william-brierty

      So Sebastian, it’s 2018, your Red Bull is uncompetitive, your teammate Raikkonen is outperforming you, Mercedes don’t want you, Ferrari don’t want you, McLaren don’t want you; where to now?

      I don’t think that’s a very likely situation, particularly with regards to Räikkönen: he will be a 38 year-old nearing the end of his career at that point whereas Vettel will be 30 and in his peak years. Also, this is purely subjective but Räikkönen isn’t as good a driver IMO anyway and would be coming into what is essentially Vettel’s team if he moves to Red Bull at all; I doubt he’d beat him.

      Mercedes by 2018 may have gotten rid of one of their drivers but it’s possible they’ll keep the services of both their current drivers until then (although I wouldn’t bet against Hamilton moving again if they don’t live up to their word), Alonso will probably be nearing the end of his peak also at 36 but as you’ve said Ferrari have plenty of drivers in the pipeline.

      That leaves McLaren, and I think they could be a good match. McLaren are a very hard-working and analytical team which would compliment Vettel’s talents in being a perfectionist. They also have the works Honda engine supply so provided they make a good engine McLaren won’t be lagging behind Ferrari and Mercedes in that department. Button is also ageing a bit now as well and as for Perez I’m not sure about his long term future.

      There is of course competition there as well though: Magnussen is of course flying in FR3.5 and is a McLaren development driver, so I imagine he’ll definitely have a McLaren seat by then if he continues on his current trajectory. If Perez loses steam though, we could have the experienced Vettel with the younger upshot Magnussen (who I imagine would be starting his 3rd or so season in F1) at McLaren-Honda: not a bad pairing if you ask me!

      1. +1, great comment

    3. It seems like silly season for 2018 has begun.
      @william-brierty @vettel1 Vettel’s comments are definitely being blown out of proportion. If I was to predict where he’d be in 2018, I would say he will be most likely with Red Bull, Ferrari, or a new manufacturer team. I can’t see Raikkonen at Red Bull while Vettel’s there, and I really don’t see Raikkonen in F1 in 2018 – I have my doubts to whether he will still be in F1 in 2014.

      1. @deej92 I don’t think it’s out of the question he could move from Red Bull by 2018: he’s contacted until the end of 2014 and if in this hypothetical situation (it’s no more than hypothetical) Red Bull are uncompetitive then he’ll be looking to pastures new. Ferrari may still be possible but not until Alonso’s left IMO and he may be there for a while yet but it’s possible Vettel may end up there in the future. If they are full though, I reckon Vettel/McLaren would be a good match for the reasons I’ve discussed.

        It’s no more than a hypothetical situation though!

        1. @vettel1 We all know Ferrari are unlikely to have a Alonso-Vettel pairing with their philosophy (and considering the amount of options they have for Massa’s seat), so Vettel is a definite option when Alonso retires. If the RB10 is uncompetitive, that could stir things up, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vettel sticking with Red Bull (or Infiniti, whatever their name will be then) one more year afterwards at least. Vettel at McLaren sounds odd, but it is plausible (although I see Hamilton back at McLaren someday).
          Vettel does need to move eventually to show he can do a job with another team, and silence some critics.

  14. Audi Team Joest this time too.

  15. Vettel’s comment means nothing. It was just a long winded way of saying “I don’t know” which has, quite typically, been blown out of proportion by the BBC.

  16. The Fat Man is returning I hear…….

    Michelin are interested!

  17. It’s June…. you know what that means!! I have to contemplate which of my internal organs I’ll have to sell in order to afford to go to the British GP!!!

    1. I’ll pay you 200EU for a healthy appendix, provided that’s legal of course

      1. Sorry, it’s a spare liver I’m after but I think if you lose that you die, apparently it’s illegal to sell organs in the EU but, with the amount of rum I consume, I’ll be looking to obtain livers and kidneys in the next 10 years. Take them out yourself and freeze them for me?

        Note – IN CASE THAT WAS TAKEN SERIOUSLY that was a long winded attempt at a lame joke, I won’t require any organs and please don’t sell yours’ on the black market!!

Comments are closed.