Bottas: Hamilton has raised his game since the summer

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton has reached a new level of competitiveness since the summer break.

The pair went into the break separated by just 19 points in the drivers’ standings. However Hamilton has won all bar one of the six races since then and has drawn 139 points clear of his team mate.

Bottas said Hamilton has “been really on it all year but especially after the summer break.”

“He’s consistently getting everything out of the car. Being able to set it up right for each track, for each conditions, that comes with experience but also hard work. He definitely deserves all the credit for his results this year.”

While Hamilton has gone from strength to strength, Bottas has had mixed results in the last few races. He says he’s “been able to pinpoint quite well” where he has gone wrong.

“There’s been some races I’ve definitely struggled more than the others,” Bottas admitted. “Some have been quite positive.”

“I think there were quite a lot of positives things even to take from the last race even though the end result was far away from optimal.”

Bottas is confident he can find his way back to the level he was at earlier this year. “It’s all about details as always in this sport,” he said.

“Some things with driving style, some things with setting up the car which I’m getting, learning all the time. So that’s why I really believe that I can get to a good level again before the end of the year.”

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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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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    25 comments on “Bottas: Hamilton has raised his game since the summer”

    1. 2018 will be critical for him… But we must know that he is up against the fastest driver of all time and the benchmark of F1 since 2014. It’s his first year and he has won 2 races in nice style, both holding off immense pressure from Vettel. Give him a break, surely Mercedes understand this. If he can be close to Lewis next year, then I don’t think Mercedes will change their line up for 2019.

      1. I think this is a very fair comment. I do get mixed up by some who keep saying Bottas is doing a poor job at the moment while also saying that Hamilton is on a whole new level and is better than ever. If that is the case, Bottas has to be considered good at least, especially since it is only his first season with the team and it is also Hamilton’s 5th now. Bottas also has more potential to get better from his current form while I think Hamilton is probably at his peak now. Which I will admit is very strong. It just maked Bottas look a fair bit worse than he really is. Although I do think he struggled quite a lot in Malaysia and Singapore. In the other more recent ones, I think he has been OK.

      2. “The fastest driver of all time…” must have missed when they handed that trophy out.

    2. “But we must know that he is up against the fastest driver of all time” – There is no slightest doubt that Jim Clark was the fastest driver of all time. We can argue about that but the statistics says: 72 races, 25 wins, 28 fastest laps, 33 poles, 2 drivers’ titles. When you find a driver with better statistic just let me know, please.

      1. Juan Manuel Fangio

        Statistically no driver can match what he achieved.

        1. Completely right. It is very hard to win Grand Prix in the 1950’s these days.

          As for his strike rate; you never know what the future holds.

      2. Jim was very fast, but had weak team mates and often the best car. Hamilton Senna and Fangio were all probably quicker.

    3. Part of me can’t help but wonder whether Bottas has hit that point where he looks across the garage, having spent some time driving the same machinery as Hamilton and having had access to all his data, and thinks that thing that no racing driver wants to think… “He’s quicker than I am.”

      I’m sure I’ve heard other, retired drivers mentioning that sort of feeling when they were in the same team as someone like Schumacher, Senna, Hakkinen, and how they had to deal with it. So it wouldn’t surprise me too much if something along those lines – mental issues, not setup or anything else – is what’s causing Bottas’ struggles in the second half of the season.

      1. I think he should just accept look, I am teamed with the quickest guy in F1 history. The only teammate who ever beat him to any championship, with a lot of luck, gave so much to the effort, that he could not stomach to continue. Therefore if he beats Lewis, then he would rank among greats. No driver wants to accept that he is not the best, but he doesn’t have to concede that he isn’t better, just accept that if Lewis is at his best now, he has more experience and Bottas has time to get better.

    4. That’s fine. But the problem is that, if Mercedes had two Bottas’s, they would look decidedly like the third quickest car after the break. Bottas needs to talk to Rosberg and figure out how to mine and implement Hamilton’s data.

    5. Rosberg knew this version of Hamilton was gearing up.

      1. Massa acknowledge Hamilton the best of this generation.

        Alonso acknowledge Lewis as THE champion of this generation.

        Bottas admits he has no answer for him.

        Mika Hakkinnen acknowledges Lewis as one of the greatest of all time.

        Records smashed all year.

        Defeated the faster race car (Ferrari)

        No errors.

        Its time for the detractors to eat humble pie.

        Max is the true successor to Lewis, Vettel may never win another championship again.

        1. They never will, the problem is they sit in their arm chairs watching the racing and think they know better than Hamilton’s peers.

        2. I agree Verstappen is the future, that Ham is probably one of the bests of all time and certainly at the top of his game right now (and, really, top of the game)… But I don’t think Vettel will require much of a car advantage to score championship number 5. Sometimes, winning is just winning the percentage game and playing to one’s strengths and counting on randomness to occur to shift that little bit of delta you need. Rosberg prooved it last year. It took a bit of luck… And so much of his energy he professed he couldn’t possibly do better and left.

        3. Vettel may never win another championship again

          In 2012 lots of people said Hamilton would never win another championship again, look how wrong they were.

    6. So if I understand it correctly, part of why Mercedes weren’t dominating in the first half of this year was because Hamilton was under-performing?

      1. Hamilton being better now than before doesnt mean that he doesnt lucked into wins like Singapore.

        If Ferrari didnt fail to do their thing the championship would still be on.

        1. I think it shouldn’t be a surprise that VB is pumping up his teammate. Of course LH and VB were always working with the team to sort out the diva, as Mercedes themselves called their car. And they did so. The extra level they have in quali…the fact that they have had the dominant car for several years and it was never a given that suddenly Ferrari was going to take over…Whereas at the worst time, with few races to answer for it, Ferrari had unreliability.

          I can appreciate that VB would only be complimentary to his teammate, but I think it is more the team that figured out the diva, than that LH somehow went up a notch. That would imply he wasn’t trying as hard earlier on.

          I still love the quote from JV back in the Williams days. When it came time to race at the track named after his Dad the media asked him if the home town crowd would be worth the tenth or two per lap that some have suggested athletes find at their home venues, to which JV said no because that would mean he wasn’t trying hard enough at the other venues. Ie. it shouldn’t matter.

    7. BOT has done an excellent job this year. The end. Mercedes clinched the constructors! BOT made that happen just as much as HAM and the rest of the Mercedes team.

      HAM maximised all opportunities since the summer and looks unstoppable.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        27th October 2017, 13:31

        In terms of points Bottas has been very solid – he may not be challenging for the WDC but he’s definitely kept Mercedes in the lead of the WCC and won a 4th WCC.

        I would say he had done a better job than Raikonnen at Ferrari who’s now over 100 points behind Vettel and we all know Vettel has botched a few major chances for himself and taken some of Kimi’s points.

        In many ways, this has been a good thing because Lewis could win back the 2016 championship this year, even though, it seemed against odds before the summer break. Everything can and will change next year so Bottas will have another chance to show his real potential.

    8. since then and has drawn 139 points clear

      @keithcollantine 87 points no?

      1. @jimbo0070 Either that or Mercedes have kept quiet about suddenly replacing Bottas with Ricciardo!

      2. I keep thinking I’m missing something obvious here. But at the moment. That gap makes no sence.

    9. Next year will be the acid test for Bottas. If he continues to underwhelm, well that would say it all.

      He was touted as a future world champion by Williams in the past, so its quite surprising that he hasn’t upped his game. We can expect a transition period, but things started reasonably well, he just gone backwards through the season, which isnt good.

      I think we should stop arguing about Lewis’ ability and talent, its a pointless argument. His record speaks for itself, and he’s thrashing his highly rated teammate. Im no fan of Lewis, but it doesn’t matter if he’s had a quick car all throughout his career, the point is that he made the most of it, and thats what counts. Its like Christiano Ronaldo scores a lot of goals because he plays for the best team.

      Regardless of fan boy allegiances and various Windsor-Roebuck conspiracy theories, I think we can all agree that at this stage, Lewis is the current benchmark on the grid and Bottas isn’t exactly scratching its surface. I still Ricciardo is off Ferrari in 2019, and Max to Ferrari in 2021, Seb back at RBR.

    10. Bottas back to Williams where he can make a difference.

      Ocon to Mercedes for 2018.

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