Williams poised to confirm Bottas move

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In the round-up: Claire Williams concedes the team is preparing to release Valtteri Bottas to Mercedes as a replacement for Nico Rosberg.

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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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61 comments on “Williams poised to confirm Bottas move”

  1. Well lets see, I member Verstappen’s overtake on Rosberg in Brazil. I also member Raikkonen’s sliding overtake in Hungary.

    1. He has a big mouth and even bigger ego …. shame he was never half the driver his dad was.

      1. username checks out

        1. hahaha + 1

    2. @stigsemperfi He’s talking about passes done with drs rather than all overtakes.

      and i can’t recall a single drs pass thats worth bringing up as to be honest there all utterly boring to watch. no thrill or excitement about any of them.

      the non drs overtakes however are all far more exciting & memorable to watch.

      1. I have seen plenty of races with hardly any pass before DRS. DRS is not the greatest thing, but let’s not pretend that races will be magically beter without it.

      2. Rosberg on Verstappen in Abu Dhabi, he had DRS both straights and I was still on the edge of my seat

        1. That was more about rosberg having so much to lose. Not really about the pass itself.

    3. Webber on Alonso at Eau Rouge

    4. He is talking about a DRS pass for f@k sakes people English is my second language and even I understand what he is saying.

      1. @Mig No he isn’t.
        At no point does he say “name me one DRS pass”.
        He’s says “name me one overtake you remember since DRS. You don’t, because you don’t see the driver work.”
        What he means is that the drivers sit behind the car in front, and wait until the next DRS zone. Instead of battling to get past for 10 laps, like in MotoGP.
        Whilst he does have a point. There have been many great passes, without DRS intervention, as pointed out above.

        1. Even if he is talking about any passes, he is still saying they are easier since DRS… if nothing more, it helps the car behind get closer on DRS straights in order to manage a pass at a further point in the circuit, although I feel he is talking about DRS passes.

          There have been a lot of rule changes that have meant that some dramatic racing action seen in older races can’t happen any more… DRS is only one aspect of the rule changes, the worst is allowing a defending driver to only make one defence move to block a pass.

    5. I think it’s rather irellevant anyhow @stigsemperfi. JV talks about listening to the fans, but no fan ever wanted DRS. We wanted them to change the cars to make them better at close racing.

      But because that would a) risk upturning the apple cart of the formbook and b) mean quite a significant investment into rethinking aero, the big teams rather voted to have DRS as the “easy/cheap fix. So really they have not even started listening to what fans really want.

      1. They also clearly ‘listened to the fans’ when double points and the elimination qualifying were both conceived. @bascb you definitely have a point here.

    6. @PeterG Ricciardo’s pass on Bottas at Monza, for example, is a ‘DRS pass’ worth bringing up, so not all the DRS-assisted passes are completed before the start of a braking zone, and to be honest at most circuits, it’s relatively ineffective these days.

    7. Ooooh I member

      1. sry wrong post

    8. @stigsemperfi I think Villeneuve’s analysis is fairly sound apart from the ‘fans’ part. As this poll from 2010 shows, had those in charge bothered to ask fans what they thought of the DRS concept before it was introduced they would have discovered it wasn’t very popular:


      However I broadly agree that we get a let of unmemorable ‘motorway’ overtakes with DRS. Note that some of the counter-examples cited above occurred in wet races where DRS was disabled.

      What I find most galling is that some of the memorable non-DRS passes we have seen since 2011 – such as Webber on Alonso at Eau Rouge – were immediately reversed by a DRS-assisted move.

      As ever the DRS debate splits people into the ‘quality versus quantity’ camps. I’m of the view that the increase in overtaking DRS has created to some extent (high-degradation tyres have obviously played a role too) has not always produced better quality racing.

      1. @keithcollantine Great point about some non-DRS passes being reversed by an answered DRS pass.

        JV’s point is fans wanted more passing. For people to take this to the extreme and make this about JV is ridiculous. We all know F1 at times listens to the fans and more often does not. If F1 wasn’t listening to the fans specifically about numbers of passes, or lack thereof, why do you think they brought DRS in then? Does anybody realistically think that F1 does, or can, listen to and implement all fans’ desires?

        JV’s point was only that fans wanted to see more passes. Because F1 is so addicted to aero, the only way they were going to make that happen was with DRS which we all agree has been wrong. We all agree with JV. The audience size has been sliding. Is it any surprise that F1 has been trying things to change that?

        Sometimes it’s about the fans and sometimes it’s like the fans are being ignored. Perhaps if everyone, especially the team principles, had reacted from the start toward DRS like they reacted to the ill-fated two race qualifying changes, we wouldn’t have DRS today. But the team principles would rather have aero too.

        Fans sometimes get asked, usually don’t, and many say they shouldn’t be asked at all, but they can certainly be the boss if they want. They can simply turn off the TV, and not buy the tickets. Oh wait…that’s been happening.

      2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        16th January 2017, 13:46

        Usually I take a purist stance on such things but because F1 cars are so aero reliant right now, the sport would be a hell of a lot more boring without DRS. I hate that this is the case but I do believe it’s a necessary evil and this will be the case even more so next season I suspect. At least we can get excited when a car closes to within the magical 1sec marker and it gives a little hope to races like Singapore 16 and Nurburgring 13 where cars are chasing in the closing stages and you know something ‘could’ happen. What I would suggest now though after several years of bedding in, it’s time to half the DRS zones at straights where DRS is too effective on a subjective basis (Kemmel Straight, Monza, Malaysia, China back straight, Montreal back straight but leave start/finish as is etc). It should never be a guaranteed pass, it should give a few extra kph to get the following car into slipstream. There’s been a lot of talk recently about how amazing F1 was in the naughties and although I agree there were some areas I truly miss, processional races and the Trulli Train is not one of them.

        1. Yet we’ve had processional races in spite of DRS. Cars too dependent on clean air is still the main problem and an adjustment of that, hopefully starting next season, should be able to eliminate the need for DRS. It’s existence only damages the integrity of the sport.

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            16th January 2017, 14:31

            Well of course we have the occasional processional race but DRS does help that. F1 has proven time and time again that not only does it not no how to deal with dirty air, it’s also not willing to. And as for F1’s integrity….. that ship has sailed. Ideal world, I would love to see some standardised ground effect parts fitted to all cars, then strip away a load of aero downforce, particularly from the front wing. Hopefully then we could remove DRS.

      3. @keithcollantine, it has to be said that Jacques Villeneuve has often had rather open contempt for what the fans of the sport think – for example, a few years ago he said that “It is dangerous to ask the fans what they want” and put all of the blame for the state of the sport onto the fans.

        As far as he is concerned, the sport shouldn’t even bother trying to draw in any new fans (he has stated in the past that the sport should stop trying to attract new fans to the sport), advocating that the sport should turn its back on the world and become even more of a bubble. In many ways, he has an extremely insular and regressive attitude towards the sport and towards the fans, whom he almost seems to treat as a minor inconvenience.

        1. @anon Imho, you are making some assumptions about JV’s intentions with his comments. For example in the article referenced here by Keith JV talks about MotoGP and how it is a more enthralling show for the fans as they get to see a trailing rider work to set up the leading rider and figure out a way past, which has been greatly dumbed down in F1 because of DRS.

          I highly doubt JV has contempt for fans and would like to see more actual quotes from you on things JV has said in this regard, that have caused you to interpret his words this way.

          I suspect that JV knows that if you ask 12 fans their opinion on the direction F1 should go, you will get 12 different opinions and therefore he has contempt for an F1 that tries to cater to fans. I suspect he is more about having experts come up with a F1 that is enthralling to watch and then the fans will come.

          As to this bubble you are referring to, I think JV hints at that in the referenced article here as well. F1 should be crazy and extreme as the pinnacle of racing ie. In a unique bubble that way…not isolated from the fans literally, but as an entity that is fascinating and awe inspiring so the fans are awed and fascinated, which they are not when as he points out cars are lapping 8 seconds slower than their quali pace.

          If JV has expressed anything like contempt for fans I wonder if that is because he has heard some of the most cruel things from some who we even see (read) here on this site who show illiteracy when it comes to him or his career or the realities of F1 and racing in general.

          Not sure if you can relate this paraphrased quote that I am about to type but I loved his response when long ago he was asked if racing in Montreal was worth a few more tenths to him due to being in front of his home crowd to which he responded ‘No because t

          1. Oops hit the wrong button…he said ‘No because that would mean I wasn’t trying hard enough at all the other tracks.’

          2. @robbie Awesome response ;)

  2. I wouldn’t remember a pass if it was amazing. But I’ll tell you this nothing good comes from blindly listening to the masses regarding features. One must target an existing audience or create an audience. With that being said there is also what I call the Facebook plan, which is to Tick off half the uses every six months and make the other half happy every six months. Change is off course the only constant.

  3. Vandoorne’s number looks like they’ve put Button’s on but forgot one of the digits, hahah. I like it though, looks very smart.

    The point about it going wrong when it started listening to fans is questionable. On one hand, it’s true that it all went downhill at that time, but it’s also fair to say they listened to fans but didn’t actually understand them.

    Nobody wanted motorway passes. And nobody wanted to have to pay to watch F1. And nobody wanted double points. And nobody wanted to change the qualifying format.

    One point I feel hasn’t been appreciated enough, is that many fans, particularly young ones, like, excitement in the video directing. People are used to watching a film with things going at 500mph with explosions close up in HD. If F1 is trying to compete as two hours of entertainment, it should aim to manipulate the angles and footage to rival that, and show off the speed. That’s an extreme example but you get the point. 200mph currently just doesn’t look remotely impressive. They started by reintroducing sparks, which was great. With cranes and technology in structures they should have no problem in position cameras in exciting places. Flattening the bumps on every track doesn’t help the spectacle. Bumps make the cars look like they’re going faster because it puts the speed in perspective. And if they’re adamant about getting adverts in there, they should place the adverts according to where the cameras are, not the other way round (even if that means having to use more virtual adverts).

  4. Jacques likes to be a sensationalist. The sad part here, is that F1 should have never listened to the fans. There are many f1 fans. We have to admit that most spectators or audience are either casual or “fanboys”. So there’s the fans that just want Ham to win or RB to win or McLaren to win and then there’s the Italians and the global audience that mostly comprises Ferrari fans, and just fans of F1, etc. IMO neither the die-hard fans or the casual fans know what is best for F1, nor perhaps the actual fans of F1, everyone has it’s own opinion but one thing is consensual, we would like to see cars being able to race wheel to wheel. On the other side I don’t believe f1 has listened to the fans but rather the teams use the perceived will of the fans to add weight to their lobbying, and that’s why the only consensual motivation behind all fans of f1 has not been heeded.

  5. Every fan of F1 knows that DRS is simply a misguided idea from some narrow minded FIA officials who completely panicked about Grand Prix ever since Senna went too far.
    Most tracks were altered, eventually racecars turned soft and fans turned to other types of racing while ticket prices and racing costs have gone through the roof.

    Stop DRS allow drivers to do what they want race unbridled cars. The problem is that the rule makers are chickens and fear what they cant control.

    EVERYONE wants racing to resume what it once was, where teams produced racing machines that test the limits of drivers so that fans can stand up and say that guy is my hero just as l once called Gilles Villenueve, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost….drivers who had big balls and created legions of fans and the sport was still very cool.

    1. @TED I don’t agree with you, DRS was introduced to stop the Trulli Train phenomena. I believe DRS has solved this, at some tracks it is implemented poorly (Monza), at others, it isn’t enough (Monaco). I think that more can be done to make DRS work more effectively by doing away with current “DRS” boards and 1sec timings. I don’t have a solution, but just highlighting that my point of view is different and that I like the fact that we don’t have infuriating races with 10 cars piled behind 1 driver because he’s good at holding people up.

      1. @dragoll what about they have DRS always available, and as soon as they reach 1sec of the driver in front they cannot use it anymore.

        1. You don’t get easy DRS overtakes
        2. They will actually manage to follow each other

        To make this work however drivers won’t be able to have DRS if they are 1sec in front or 1sec behind

        Note: This came to me just now, and I am still sleeping, if in a couple of hours I find this idea very stupid, that will be the coffee kicking in *love mondays*

      2. @dragoll the concept of DRS came about to stop the Trulli train, but the implementation we got was because McLaren invented a ghetto version that had no restrictions, which everyone copied. Can’t make engineers unlearn what they’ve learned etc.

      3. @dragoll While I don’t really like DRS, I think it can be improved significantly by changing the length of the DRS zones, or by having the detection and activation point at the same place. It may be better to allow DRS only to drivers that are very close (within half a second for example) behind another car, so you really have to be faster to get a DRS advantage. Also I think it’s more interesting to have DRS at the beginning of the straights, so drivers have to use the slipstream to overtake.

        1. DRS should not be allowed on straights that don’t need it I.E. Kemmel, Mexico etc. but can and does help the racing in other places.

          Ironically Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a good example imho: On the short-ish start-finish straight DRS works fine, but it should be removed from the long backstraight and intstead added to the short straight leading up to the hairpin.

  6. Jacques got it BADLY wrong. I’m surprised a clever guy even said such thing. How on earth are we the problem?!

    F1 went wrong (and it’s still going wrong) when the rule makers don’t fix problems, but just sort of patch them up. It is perfectly understandable that fans want more overtaking, because overtakings are the most excithing things in motor racing. But no one ever said: “boy, I want DRS”.

    Just because we wanted more overtaking doesn’t mean DRS is the way to go. We hate DRS as much as you, Jacques… so who’s to blame? us for asking for a better, more competitive sport, or the FIA for creating something that sort of fixes the problem, but not the inherent causes of it?

    “Free overtakes for everyone” aka DRS, lies in the same bed as elimination qualifying, fuel adjusted qualy and so on. It’s a gimmich designed by people that are too lazy to tackle the real problems influenced by lobbyists that prevent the sport being a fair competition between different teams, with a fair distribution of the vast money generated and good, long lasting ideas that force everyone to converge into the same ballpark of performance, meaning closer racing and a great show.

    As another particular example, maybe Jacques should just remember who imposed the grooved tyres he hated so much… fans or the FIA?

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      16th January 2017, 9:23

      How quickly people forgot the processional monotony of pre-DRS racing.

    2. @fer-no65 I think you have missed the very first line where we are directed to JV’s comments…’F1 went wrong’…

      JV is not blaming the fans other than to suggest something we all know…fans have too many varying opinions…yet sometimes there are strong commonalities. Many fans did want to see more passing. That does not mean more at any cost, but F1 chose the wrong direction, as JV has pointed out and we all agree, and indeed the fans have voted with their feet by the empty grandstands at some races and the downsizing in TV audience.

  7. I watched the entire interview with Jacques and I agree with him to a certain extent. Him pointing the finger at the fans was taken out of context as it was poorly phrased. We fans wanted more overtaking, and the FIA gave us DRS, poor? Yes, the should have thought it through more.

    All other points Jacques makes I’d valid. I have voiced my opinion on DRS passing here many times over the years. I used to enjoy watching a faster driver getting held up by a slower car, defending was an art. We didn’t see as many passes back then, but, when a pass was made it was great , because the driver gets creative. The whole time while you’re waiting for the faster driver to pass, you’re on the edge of your seat. Now, you push a button.

    Also agree about the idea that “some” drivers treat F1 as a video game. There is no more element of fear, which has bred disrespect.

    People love to hate Jacques, I like him because he isn’t afraid to make an opinion in a PC obsessed world.

  8. i think Jacques needs to see the top 5 overtakes of the last 5 years video.

    1. No he doesn’t. He’s talking about DRS passes which are never noteworthy.

  9. JV is wrong about overtakes…We have Webber on Alonso & Kimi on Schumi at Eau Rouge,Verstappen’s on Perez(Brazil 2015),Rosberg(2016),Nasr.We have Massa’s crazy overtakes on Senna & Ericsson,the epic duel of Alonso vs Vettel,Kimi’s Wrc style overtake on Nasr,Ricciardo’s dummy on Vettel(Monza 2014).So Jacques,those are the overtakes that i remember since the DRS has been introduced…

    1. And he’s not talking about those ones, assuming they are all non-DRS passes. And if they are non-DRS passes, are you sure they were all apples to apples passes or were some of them because one bloke was on vastly different tires or tire states? The gadget tires are just as much a problem for fake passes as DRS.

  10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… DRS is a necessary evil, the way the cars are at the moment. Probably more so when next year’s cars emerge.

    The distances between the cars through the corners (evenly matched, with no mistakes or tyre advantages) is too great to be made up by a natural slipstream alone. You’d need to be about 0.3 or 0.4 behind, maximum… but over the last few years it’s been pretty much impossible to follow closer than 0.7 or 0.8.

    Maybe just about achievable for a Mercedes attacking a Honda, but that’s it.

    1. Firstly let’s see if indeed the increase in mechanical and ground effects downforce diminishes the weight of aero a bit. Yes the wings are wider but @gt-racer has spelled out why that isn’t necessarily dire.

      DRS is only ‘necessary’ (yet indeed has not increased the audience) if they continue to let aero be the dominant factor. But in spite of people’s assumptions that wider wings automatically means F1 still doesn’t get it, they have indeed gotten something. The tires are going to be reasonable F1 tires now, and will be able to survive better in dirty air, there’s more ground effects too, and the cars will be faster and harder to drive as even the drivers themselves have requested.

      Even if aero still has too much weight and the racing is still too processional, they can tweek that and further limit wing rake, and get rid of DRS altogether. DRS is not necessary and has no place in the pinnacle of racing.

  11. You have to admire Mclaren’s confidence in their own attractiveness to drivers on the grid. They are talking about Vettel as a replacement if Alonso refuses to sign a contract… while remaining completely delusional to the fact that no top driver on the grid would even think about jeopardizing their career by joining a team that would hopefully finish at P5 in the WCC.

    1. @todfod Not really – they’re mentioning that *both* drivers will be out of contract which will mean they will be shopping around for the best drives they can get – if, for example, Mercedes take BOT on a one-year, then obviously both ALO & VET will be aligning themselves to grab that seat if the team is still on top.

      1. @optimaximal

        I agree about the fact that Alonso and Vettel will be free from contracts by the end of 2017, but what I find hilarious is that Mclaren actually think a top driver will join their squad.

    2. If you think they are delusional..read this..


      I’d be more than happy to eat my words next season if they win….but the likelihood of rather low…podium would be realistic.

      1. That has got to be the most confusing and contradictory bit of PR dribble to ever come out of Boullier’s mouth. –

        “We were ninth [two years ago], sixth last year so hopefully we’re in the top four next year,” he said.
        Here, Boullier clearly suggests he would be happy with a P4 finish in the WCC… which realistically means they will finish in P5 or maybe P6 again.

        Then he goes on to say –
        “They are working hard, but the days when you can turn up with a new aero kit on the car and gain one second are finished.”
        Again setting the bar really low. Considering it’s a massive regulations change, I would think it’s entirely possible for a team to make up one second of time with a great design. Clearly, Boullier doesn’t have the confidence that Mclaren can pull it off though.

        But somehow, Boullier still says that his target is to win a race in 2017! God knows how they will manage it with such little expectations from their own squad.

        1. It has been 4 or 5 years now that McLaren last won a race. However, they keep talking about getting back to the front where they ‘belong’ and what they are ‘normally used to’…. If you ask me they are just slow to catch up with their reality, being slow.

  12. If they constantly asked the fans what they wanted they would say fast sweeping circuits in undulating terrain with huge tyres, v12 engines and limited to no aero. So its a dam good job we don’t keep asking fans or else that might actually happen.

  13. i was actually wondering another thing. We have all these different engine modes with more and less power, but does that mean that they effectively have a push to pass? Cause i know that if you would try and introduce that you get a lot of resistance.

    1. No. Teams ‘program’ the harvesting modes, so when you are on a track like Spain for example a certain mode will allow you to harverst more heavily in sector 2 and 3 and then deploy agressively for the main straight when you exit the final turn. If that’s what you want, then you select that specific engine mode (like VES did when holding off Kimi for the win in Spain) rather than a ‘push to pass’ or KERS button.

  14. I don’t know if Villeneuve is correct or not, but seeing as the last 3 season were a 2 person fight for the championship, not having DRS would have made it more interesting and limited the dominating Mercedes team from blitzing from the back row to a podium.

  15. It seems to me that F1 went wrong when they started “Tilkifying” all of the circuits on the grounds of safety. DRS seemed to be the best answer for more passing, but the problem was the tracks.

    Give me old circuits that are no longer “safe” … I recall plenty of passing at the Hockenheim layout running into the forest, or the old Monza layout. Getting a run on the car in front by a good exit and natural slip streaming on the long straights.

    1. Tilke has ruined so much for F1 and got filthy reach in the process.

      Those terrible kerbstones like in Russia, Baku and Singapore make corners that could otherwise be very interesting into very slow stop/start affairs that takes away any flow and doesn’t even improve the overtaking into those corners.

      The funny thing is, Tilke has also designed Malaysia and Bahrain (and to a lesser extend China and USA) with lots of flowing sections and virtually no ‘flow-killers’ other than hairpins and snake sections (that allow wheel to wheel racing) so he does seem to know what a track needs.

      1. reach=rich

  16. DRS isn’t the issue, it’s the ridiculously imbalanced engines and the length of the DRS zones. When was the last time a Renault powered car had a “motorway” overtake?

    Conversely, those with Mercedes engines just cruise by any other cars.

    1. Sorry but imho at least, the length of the DRS zone does not change that the passes are fake and will never be noteworthy nor memorable. The ridiculous addiction to aero downforce, which has been the one consistent for the years we’ve been seeing processions, is the problem. A bandage fix such as fake passes for the sake of quantity is not the answer.

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