Bottas admits 2015 has been a disappointment

2015 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas says the 2015 season has not come up to his expectations so far.

Bottas, who re-signed with Williams at the beginning of the month, has reached the podium just once so far this year, compared to six times in 2014.

“I have to say I’m not really that pleased for the results,” he said during today’s FIA press conference. “Of course we aim to make a step forward which… I think we improved from last year but compared to others, not really.”

“I think we improved from last year but compared to others, not really.”
“As a team I think everyone in the team is expecting more and we are aiming to do better in the future. Obviously I am staying with the team. It’s very nice to start building from this because I still think we are not yet at a peak and we can definitely do better.

“And from my side also it’s been very mixed season, a lot of things have been going to my side: unlucky races, unlucky results. That’s just how it is sometimes and always need to look forward.”

Bottas believes there is no single area Williams need to make progress in. “As a team we need to improve in all the areas,” he said.

“As we’ve seen we have quite a few issues still with pit stops and some mistakes from us as a team. Still just getting stronger all the areas.”

“Unfortunately sometimes the way to improve is you need to do that mistake and then you learn from it. I’m sure soon there’ll be no more mistakes we can do and we’ll make sure we learn from those and improve. Like I said before I think we can definitely be stronger than this.”

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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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41 comments on “Bottas admits 2015 has been a disappointment”

  1. As he has been unable to outpace Massa on a regular basis, Bottas’ stock would have fallen considerably this year.

    1. I’ve been a Bottas supporter from day one, but Bottas was never that impressive, at least looking at the results. He was beaten by Maldonado for the most part of his stay at Williams. When Williams hired Symonds, williams suddenly improved as they dropped the hit and miss exhaust system then we first saw what Bottas could achieve, he ended that year quite strong, and first showed how unfazed he is at defending from quick cars and big names. 2014, and Bottas showed pace but ultimately cost Williams 2nd in AUS GP. Bottas showed in 2014 to be the quickest of the Williams drivers, but he made many mistakes, especially anxious in qualifying, in my view he ought to have crushed Massa. In 2015 Bottas has made more mistakes and Williams have Bottas, especially fo the whole of silly season. Bottas has always hinted in 2015 that Williams have taken a step back and I think this frustration is behind the anxious qualifying performances.
      Rodney I still think Bottas beat Massa consistently, he has failed in qualifying and he’s not as good of a starter which may not be his fault. In my view his stock hasn’t changed, I’m a fan of his, but I don’t think he’s special. I think if Bottas has a balanced car he’ll be quick, I know he can defend, I’m just worried that he can’t cope with the pressure.

  2. Bottas always was overrated.

    1. Massa has always been underrated.

      1. I feel that you both are right. The bashing of Massa in his last two years at Ferrari was completely out of control, and soon the hype around Valtteri was equally out of control, but it seems to me that Williams and Bottas are now having a real measure of who is who.
        But in these quotes, Valtteri is, one more time, showing the dark side of him that we saw already, the “Alonsesque” tendency to blame the team for his misfortunes and to put pressure on top of the team through the press. I don´t remember Massa using this against Ferrari or Williams, ever. He does his laundry indoors, and it is clear that his teams appreciate that. Not so sure about Valtteri

        1. How was it unfair? He was dominated by Alonso in 2012 and 2013, no doubt about that. He maybe wasn’t Karthikeyan, but he certainly wasn’t a top driver.

          1. I wonder why he was dominated!!!
            Are you new into formula 1?
            People like you are the reason why Massa was and is still underrated.

        2. to blame the team for his misfortunes and to put pressure on top of the team through the press

          Not really.
          What he said about the mistakes from the team are facts and cannot really be regarded as “criticism”. I think it is quite straight in this new Williams team, zero politics.
          Also, it is not unuseful to tell the guys who value you that you are unhappy with their mistakes.

        3. Massa does not back stab the team through the english written press, he does it on Brazillian press, ever since 2007. Massa as any driver has made some unfortunate comments to the press especially when Bottas beat him in 2014, even early this season. Any driver does struggle with it’s public perception, Bottas has been a little to frank, almost Di Resta frank and this attitude hurts himself and the team, Bottas is forgetting his own mistakes. Being artificially humble is better received by the fans than being straightforward.

          1. Massa does not back stab the team through the english written press, he does it on Brazillian press, ever since 2007.

            Well, I don´t know about you, but I lived for 22 years in Brasil (Rio and Brasília), and I don´t remember Massa stabbing the team on O Globo or Folha or Estadão. (BTW, Ayrton used to do that, in particular during his last neverending negotiation to renew with McLaren…)

          2. I never understood all the di Resta hate. Yes he seems to be an awful guy to work with but I consider him better than Sutil, who has what? 7 years in F1?

      2. Massa has always been overrated.
        2002 – Rookie – Heidfeld beat Massa (Points-7-4)
        2003 – test driver
        2004 – Fisi beat Massa (22-12)
        2005 – Massa beat Villeneauve (11-9)
        2006 – Schuey beat Massa (121-80)
        2007 – Raikkonen beat Massa (110-94) *Massa helped Kimi at the last round
        2008 – Massa beat Kimi (97-75) *Kimi was very unlucky.
        2009 – Raikkonen beat Massa* *Massa was leading for a couple rounds until Hungary
        2010 – Alonso beat Massa (252-144) *Germany (245-151)
        2011 – Alonso beat Massa (257-118)
        2012 – Alonso beat Massa (278-122)
        2013 – Alonso beat Massa (242-112)
        2014 – Bottas beat Massa (186-134)

        Underrated, any other driver wouldn’t survive half this long in F1. JB is another example, I love JB but his head-to-head record is dreadful.

        1. 2009 – Raikkonen beat Massa*

          A lack of respect here?
          MAS-RAI 24-12 before Hungary

          2008 – Massa beat Kimi (97-75) *Kimi was very unlucky.

          Felipe was equally unlucky, if not unluckier.
          Hungary and Singapore, 2 certain wins!! lucky to win Spa though.

          any other driver wouldn’t survive half this long in F1

          Rubens had more than 300 gps…

        2. Do you follow 2012 season closely?
          In late 2012, Who is the quicker Ferrari driver?
          Whose gearbox seal was broken on purpose in Austin?
          Who was asked to slow down to give his team-mate an easy time in Korea?
          Who should have finished ahead of his team-mate on merit in a wet race?

        3. Yeah kimi wasn’t unlucky in 2008 massa was just faster than him. In fact if it wasn’t for renault and crash gate in Singapore massa would have been world champion

  3. Felipe has really damaged his stock this year hasn’t he?

    1. Give us at least one good valid reason why.

      1. Because he’s beating Bottas? Do you need a better and more important reason lol?

  4. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! - @omarr-pepper (@)
    17th September 2015, 13:09

    Maybe Bottas can say “I’m too young for this”.

    1. Really? He’s at the age Vettel won his 4th championship.

      1. Some Bottas’ fans bring this up. I think it was sarcastic.

        But yes, Bottas is in his third year and in those three years, he never seemed as impressive as Verstappen in a half-season.

  5. I can admit to have been disappointed by Bottas this year.

    He’s been adept at capitalising when the Scuderia missed opportunities in Bahrain and Canada, but when Williams have had the car to challenge for the podium, it’s been Massa that has taken the initiative. Bottas has always looked to have spare capacity over Massa’s pace, but has made errors off the line or in Q3. His failure to match his impressive Q2 lap at Silverstone when it mattered lost him the opportunity to lead into the first corner – something that could have been transformative for his race.

    The start and a driver’s final qualifying run are the two most pressured moments of the weekend. If Valtteri does make his bow for a major team, he will need to ensure he is mentally prepared.

    1. “Bottas has always looked to have spare capacity over Massa’s pace”
      Not really. Sometimes one of them is faster than the other over a stint with a certain tyre, but rarely one of them has better pace over the race.

  6. I’m not sure if a lot of fans expected much out of him anyways, so he really hasn’t been that disappointing

    1. Really? He has been touted as the next Räikkönen the past two years.

      1. Räikkönen’s stock has also fallen considerably.

      2. He’s nothing like Raikkonen. He’s not even good enough to be a Hakkinen.

  7. He seems to be a good defender and that’s all. Imo he lacks agression, imagination.
    Maybe he’s been secretly given bromine or sth ;)

    1. He’s not even as good as his teammate at defense either!

  8. I’m also disappointed with Bottas this season but I wouldn’t rule him out yet. He’s a talented driver but still a bit raw, yet after last year he was hailed as a future world champion and reporters began wondering (and is some cases confirming) he would drive alongside Vettel in Ferrari in 2016. That’s a lot of hype to handle, and I think if affected him in his driving (which is much more cautious than last year) and his demeanor (he has been complaining much more vocally about Williams and deflecting his errors).

    Furthermore, Massa is an underrated driver and this year has not only improved but has been more relaxed and probably happier than ever in F1. Watching him drive is like seeing a man enjoying the moment, thinking “My career if ending, so I am gonna drive like never before, take no prisoners.” It’s hard to drive alongside a good teammate with that kind of mentality.

    Bottas should use this season to reflect and go back to basics.

    1. He’s a talented driver but still a bit raw

      Like I said above, I fail to see Bottas improving meaningfully in the next year(s). If you haven’t impressed by your third year in F1, maybe you’re just not that special.

  9. I can understand if Massa’s improvement has to do with being in the same team for a second year, building on satisfactions in the latter part of 2014, but Bottas had easily the upper hand on his team mate last season. This year they’ve been very well matched, with Felipe ahead in the standings. That’s all the disappointment I can understand (but, as a Massa fan, I don’t feel it!), but the lack of podiums is down to Vettel’s continuous form, driving without errors, Mercedes’ higher reliability, other teams matching them at their weaker tracks and bad luck, as Hungary and Belgium were their best chances but they were well behind. I feel like Bottas is calmer, less aggressive this year while Massa is the opposite, but it’s very hard to judge Williams against the rest of the field.

    1. I don’t think Massa is more aggressive. He’s been involved in less incidents than at the same point last year.

      Or maybe he’s more aggressive but is involved in less incidents, I don’t know :P

  10. Kinda bad luck. Massa was positively terrible from 2010-13 (among the worst on the grid), which (logically) meant that a allegedly “future great” like Bottas should have beaten somewhat easily.

    Then Williams’ definitely rejuvenated him somewhat in 2014, and in 2015 he’s showing glimpses of his old self again.

    Bad timing for Bottas to have a bad season (probably the stress of being linked to Ferrari was too much?), this may have been his window.

  11. It is obvious that Bottas has not only suffered from his team’s mistakes; he has often not been able to get the most out of the car himself. What is more, Ferrari chose not to buy him out of his Williams contract so I think we can conclude that he is not as good as Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso – at least not yet.

    The rest is more or less speculation.

    Just like many other fans, I expected him to convincingly outperform Massa so Bottas has kind of disappointed from that perspective. However, I still believe that he can win many races and become a world champion in the future. Firstly, drivers do get better over time. Secondly, Bottas’ team mate is not an old second-hand driver. Massa is a very strong driver, who is still in his prime and has flourished after the grey years at Ferrari where he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, driving beside one of the best drivers in the history of motor racing. So even though Bottas might look like another Rosberg / Barrichello at the moment, it is still far too early to make any definite conclusions on his skills and ultimate potential.

    1. @Girts

      Firstly, drivers do get better over time.

      They get more experienced, gain better judgement and become less error prone. Rarely do they get any faster or more spectacular.
      I do think he is a good driver though. However not as good as Ricciardo, and also maybe Grosjean who has been very impressive this year, as well as in 2013.
      I think Bottas is disappointed he missed his chance to gain a better seat, and know’s it will be tough for Williams to improve any further relative to the competition next year.

  12. I think Bottas suffers from two comparisons – Massa (and not dominating him) and Ricciardo, who given a front running car shined. In comparison, Bottas comes across as a relatively fast, but safe driver, who really hasn’t shown any spectacular moments. He’d be a solid number 2 in a top team.

  13. Yes, Massa was underrated during Alonso’s years. Many people rather than praising Fernando’s achievements which were clearly outstanding, they were blasting Massa for underperforming. Some thought Alonso was doing nothing special, it was simply Felipe who was terrible and everyone would have done a better job than him. Complete absurd. Yes, Massa is not on Vettel/Hamilton/Alonso level but is/was he any worse than the likes of Webber? No. But Webber usually had a fastest car and got on the podium several times and was able to fight for wins on good days. Ferrari wasn’t on that level.

    We can’t have 24 (err, 18 now, I am not counting GP2 teams there) drivers on Vettel level because then such greats like Alonso or Hamilton wouldn’t have been legends. If we assume F1 field should have 20 best drivers in the world then Massa would surely fit in it. I can agree he is a little bit too slow for Ferrari (or rather too inconsistent) but definetely deserves a place in F1 in a respectable car.

  14. I would love Bottas to do well, but he really needs to up his game or become a midfield driver for his entire career.

  15. No single area? Williams has been lacking in downforce in years, and very poor in the wet… I think Valtteri is just being diplomatic here.

  16. Well if you look at Bottas’ performance statistically, he’s been more consistent than massa and raikkonen. He missed the first race at australia, had to drop off 4-5 places coz of a mistake made by the pit crew with the tyres in Belgium, he was clearly the faster car in Britain GP and both williams’ got screwed over coz of their decision of not letting pass through, then there was the puncture caused by Verstappen in Hungary and, finally, for all the Kimi Raikkonen fans out there just see what he did at the last lap of the Russian GP.
    Despite all this, he’s still ahead of Massa and just behind Kimi, just been an awfully unlucky year for him.

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