Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Singapore, 2017

Bottas was “definitely hoping for more” than two wins

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says he went into 2017 hoping for more than the two wins he’s taken so far.

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  • 87 comments on “Bottas was “definitely hoping for more” than two wins”

    1. I thought that it was all the car and not the driver?!? After all, (ignorant) people keep on saying that you could put any half decent driver in the Mercedes and they’ll clean up at every race…

      1. I think its clear to say that Hamilton isn’t just an average driver… However, I’ve never really rated Bottas to begin with… Given all the issues that Merc had with HAM vs ROS in recent years, I think they want a simpler solution, and that is to have Bottas as a clear #2… It worked well for Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello and Felippe Massa.

      2. In case you never noticed, there are two Mercedes in each Grand Prix, and the driver in the other one is faster than Bottas.

        1. In case you hadn’t noticed so is the driver on one of the Ferraris.

          The original posters point is that two drivers on the level of Bottas would hand the championship to Ferrari.

          Hamilton made the difference this year.

          1. The original poster’s point is precisely the opposite. Raikkonen won no races, so Vettel made the difference this year.
            Hamilton was just faster than Bottas.

            1. What was that “rule” again? F1 is 80% car, 20% driver? Just means Bottas is really no comparison to Hamilton..

              Put Alsonso, Vettel, Riccardo, Max, next to Hamilton..even Rosberg gave him a challenge..

            2. I think it’s reasonable to say both statements are true. Two drivers on Raikkonen’s level and they’d be struggling to beat an unreliable Red Bull.

              The point is they are both special drivers and you can’t just credit the car for their successes.

            3. I would sum it up this way…LH is an awesome driver in an awesome car, and is as engrained in the team as it gets. Surely this was always going to be a challenge for VB, especially given that he was not meant to be there but for Nico retiring. It was not their original plan to have an unproven driver beside LH…meaning a driver who had never won a race nor had the equipment to do so.

              Let’s give some credit to Mercedes, for a driver is coloured by his car. Want proof that the car is a big factor? VB is now a race winner. Further proof? How many races has Alonso, who some tout to be better than LH, won in the McHonda?

              I think we all know that the vast majority of the time the WDC winner had the WCC car. This is not to take away from the great job LH does at Mercedes. But the fact is it would be unfair to compare VB to LH, as a driver having never really been able to get experience at the top of the grid until this season, new to the team etc etc. The experiment was going to be to see how he would fare, and he did indeed win races and apply some pressure initially. I don’t know that we could or should have expected more. Of course the driver made the difference. Their experiences on the team and in F1 are vastly different.

              Again, not taking away from LH, but surely other drivers given the same experience on the dominant Mercedes team since the new format, would also be very successful. Ask NR. LH himself was not dominant in the Mercedes until it became dominant.

              I will be very disappointed and surprised if TW has reversed his philosophy permanently and decided to take the easy path by hiring a natural number two. I hope this is only temporary due to Nico retiring. That said with respect to VB, he simply hasn’t the experience, and if he is to do enough at Mercedes that means the gloves will have to come off against LH, and I’m not sure VB has it in him. I think (hope) that is why they only have him on a year by year basis, and more drivers are available for 2019.

              TW said all the right things when he was questioned about team orders with LH vs NR, particularly after they’d have a clash. It is only respectful to both drivers but especially to F1 and most importantly the paying fans, to have the very best drivers a top team can get, able to race each other freely, for the maximum enthralling show. Of course there’s times when a ‘small order’ is made, when one driver is just not with it that day, or is on a different strategy. The ‘no-brainer’ kind of orders.

              I hope Mercedes gets back to two roosters on the team, and I don’t expect that to be until 2019, sorry VB.

            4. @robbie

              You can give Bottas some leeway for it being his first season in a new team. But Hamilton made his status clear in 2013 in a new team, Vettel in 2015, Ricciardo in 2014. Great drivers tend to not let a little thing like being in a new team get in their way.

              Bottas will likely improve, but he’d have been closer if he had the potential to eventually match Hamilton. I think he has the potential to be on the level Rosberg was at, but I think he’s marked his card as a tier 2 driver.

            5. @philipgb Well…can’t entirely agree. LH came to Mercedes with a WDC and a lot of poles and wins from always having a top 3 car. They didn’t hire LH to help NR win WDC(s), but as we saw they didn’t make Nico a number two either, and the result ended up being a WDC for Nico eventually. I just think LH had already established himself in F1 in general, much more so than VB who was parachuted into the best car on the best team by far than he had ever had. With LH they knew exactly what they were getting. Not so with VB thrown into the deep end.

              Seb in 2015, four time WDC, on a team that famously usually leans toward a one-rooster situation… what did Seb really have to do to establish himself? Again…they knew what they were getting with him. He came to them established, in terms of status.

              DR in 2014? That certainly didn’t hurt his career, to overshadow Seb. However, I will always defend Seb for that year. The first year of the brand new format had him now in a car that no longer even remotely reminded him of his 4 year run domination machine, which fit him like a glove. It was junk in every way for Seb. Along comes DR onto the best team he’s ever been on, and has no pressure. Get beaten by Seb and it’s expected…beat him and it’s gravy. DR is now in the best car he’s ever been in, and to Seb it feels like the worst. And DR comes out smelling like a rose. Fast forward to 2017 and DR was soundly outperformed by Max who has less experience than he does. It is Max that has established himself at RBR with double the poles of DR and his stunning drives, especially off the grid, and his contract extension on the team.

              As to VB ‘marking his card as a tier 2 driver?’ I think in fairness let’s give him the one more season he has at Merc to show us (and himself) something, because going up against a force like LH in that car, you have to be engrained and on it from race one, because LH was. VB wasn’t engrained this year so was always going to be at least a half a step behind initially, and you can’t be that and beat LH at the same time. Next season VB hasn’t that excuse.

            6. @robbie
              I think your first post about Bottas was a very fair view. For his first season, I think he has been just a little under rated. There is all this hype about Hamilton being on a whole new level better than ever before and often the same people saying Bottas is poor. If Hamilton is so good, Bottas is not poor, he’s just not close. I do think Hamilton has done extremely well in the 2nd half of the season. Bottas has just done a reasonably solid job. But certainly was very good in the 1st half of the season on the whole. And being good first of all is better than starting not so good and improving IMO. As I think it shows that Bottas may be struggling with how the car has developed over the season. If they manage to get it to suit his driving style again next season, I expect he will repeat his good form this year and improve as the season goes on.

              The other thing I think people haven’t really been noticing is the amount of points Bottas has been getting the team. He’s got 45% of them so far. We can’t say he’s done a poor job there if we don’t consider him to be the number 1 driver. He’s also got just over 80% of Hamilton’s points, which is basically the same as what Rosberg got in 2015. And that was when Mercedes were dominant over the other teams. Whereas this year, Bottas has managed to be this close to Hamilton with Ferrari being in the mix most of the year, and now Red Bull are often right up there too with Mercedes. His performance has dropped down a bit in the 2nd half of the season, but I really think many are being a bit unreasonable calling his season poor.

              Bottas is pretty consistent. Interestingly, his high and low points of the season are much closer together than his team mates. Bottas has never qualified or finished the race lower than 6th position. Where as Hamilton has qualified 14th in Monaco (and finished 7th) and also crashed out in qualifying during Brazil. I won’t include Mexico as it wasn’t Hamilton’s fault that he finished as low as he did. But Hamilton’s low points in qualifying actually results in Bottas’s average qualifying result being a higher position than Hamilton’s. While Hamilton is usually quite a bit better, it shows it is an area Bottas has been pretty consistent and never makes big mistakes.

              Bottas also hasn’t made any big mistakes in the races that he was deemed to be at fault for which have cost him or others a good result. Hamilton hasn’t done this either, but drivers like Vettel and Verstappen both have made mistakes which have heavily affected their own or others races that they were clearly at fault for.
              I think Bottas’s cautious approach may be a disadvantage in some areas, but helps in others, such as keeping him out of trouble which he’s done a very good job with this year. The amount of times we have seen drivers take risks and it results in damage, even if it isn’t their own fault, they do in a way put themselves in that situation. I think Bottas does need more aggression than he has, but I still think that his careful approach does help him get points a lot of the time.

              If Bottas is assumed to be a number 2 driver, then he is doing a very good job indeed if I’m honest. He’s only looking worse than he is because of how close the other teams are compared the the past 3 years with Mercedes.

            7. @robbie

              In 2007 Hamilton came in as a full blown rookie, partnered with likely the best driver on the grid and established himself as a force to be reckoned with from the very first corner of his first race. Bottas is a good driver, I just think if he was a special driver he’d have more than just a couple of impressive performances this year, and he’d be a hell of a lot closer to Hamilton than he is.

            8. @philipgb Yes he did, no question. He had the good fortune of having a good car under him too, and was up against FA who was also new to the team, and he impressed immediately. VB didn’t start off on a top team, and once he got to one this year he was up against the engrained force that is LH/Mercedes. But no question you are right that he doesn’t so far appear to be ‘special’ or he’d perhaps have done more. We’ll have next year to see. I really do like VB and I really hope he is impressive next season, but I just don’t get that vibe from him that he can take off the gloves and really get down to it against LH. I hope after next season they hire someone who can and will. And that is genuinely not just because I want to see LH beat…I want to see him challenged, as I wish SV to be challenged at Ferrari, and as I look forward to the continuation of the rivalry between Max and DR. And of course I wish for FA to have a much better car too.

    2. Yeah well I don’t think anybody has down played Lewis’ ability and skill, that is without doubt. Nico deserves a whole lot more credit too.

      Bottas has been poor this year. He was decent in the first half, but ran out steam in the second. I’ve been quite vocal with my critique of him, but on second thought, I’d give him another chance to redeem himself.

      Going into world champs team fresh was always going to be a challenge. Hopefully next year will see him closer to Lewis. If his form persists, that’s Danny Ric in there for 2019 (although that’s probably the case anyways!).

      1. “Yeah well I don’t think anybody has down played Lewis’ ability and skill,”

        Sure bout that?

      2. Nico deserves ZERO credit. He benefited from him main rival being handicapped in 4 of 20 races (China, Russia, Spa, Malaysia). In a two horse race, its not hard to win in those circumstances, except it still was for Nico. Since 2014 all thing being equal, Lewis has shown his worth against his teammates. Nico whined for mechanics changes and Mercedes ensured Hamilton got the only chit engines. Totally unfair.

        1. Keep ’em coming. 😏 Don’t ever get over the fact that Rosberg beat Hamilton by simply doing all he needed to do combined with new-found speed, which couldn’t have been said for Hamilton on multiple occasions last year.

          1. “New found speed”…

            Nico was outqualified, Lewis had more podiums & wins despite the 4 races in which he had mechanical issues & in 2 of those 4 races he started from the back of the grid. Races they both finished, Lewis Led that 10-9.

            He won the title, give him that, but please drop the narrative about new found speed and raised his game, because neither are true. Anyways it’s 2017, Lewis is the champion & Nico’s 15 minutes of fame is over.

            Looking forward to 2018 & the chase for 5 between him & Seb. Which of course Lewis will win. 😉

            1. Nah, Nico’s WDC fame has only begun, as he is a WDC in the history books forever. And he’ll continue to be even once he passes on, just like other WDC’s who have left us. And the bonus for Nico is that he won an extremely hard fought and close battle against no less than LH, which was a lot harder than what LH had to do for it this year, or what some other WDC’s have had to do for some of theirs’ in the past.

            2. LH will only win if his team gives him 100% and there is no man-management behind the scenes. He will only win if both sides of the garage are united, and management aren’t massaging the egos of their b-driver.

              Other wise the story will read Vetel wins in a season where the spoils were once again divided in the Mercedes camp.

              Let’s face it, if Ferrari hadn’t so obviously scored an own goal, they would have won the championship.
              Unlike Mercedes, Ferrari were 100% committed to their lead driver.

            3. Which of course Lewis will win.

              Yep, give it plenty of green pastures to ride on, Mex style. And a few cranes for good measure. Might even win.

          2. Except that Lewis won more races than Nico in the year in which Nico supposedly beat him…lol

            1. Wins are not the deciding factor in the Drivers Championship. It is based on a points system.
              385 > 380

        2. @Mclaren
          It´s very funny that someone with your username is calling the merc engine “chit”.
          All i remember is that nico was on his way to a perfect season until hamilton lost it @catalunya. Oh and neverending whingeing from hamilton and his fans.

          bytheway your mechnic argument cuts both ways…

          1. That’s all ‘you remembered’?

            1. @kgn11
              I also remember nico letting lewis by in monacco.

          2. You mean until Nico tried to close the door on Hamilton since he (Nico) had screwed up by staying on the wrong power setting.

            1. Well, NIco was very entitled to do so, he was leading.. It was HAM who drove in to his car ;)

            2. @mike

              No, i mean until lewis “used his car as a weapon” an shoot nico out of the race.

        3. Always great to read well balanced opinions which clearly show who the best driver is. @ McLaren
          There are still people here who don’t see Lewis’ racing talents, and even wanted to deny him the DOTW in Brazil even when he singlehandedly cleared almost the whole field.
          When will people stop hating LH?

          1. Egonovi – I’m an avid Hamilton fan but I didn’t agree at all with the collective decision to award him DOTW. If we were deciding Driver of the Race I’d be a little more understanding, but unless a driver puts in his/her greatest race of all time it shouldn’t be enough to gloss over a major unforced error in qualifying.

          2. DTW, he binned it on Saturday.. that’s why he needed all that work in Sunday..

        4. Not this again… look up the retirement stats etc for 2013-2015 and you’ll see it’s the other way around with Rosberg being ‘handicapped’. Rosberg deserved his championship in 2016 because he got the points he needed, period. That does not diminish Hamilton as a driver.

          1. I still find it quite extraordinary that some people are unwilling to give Nico any credit whatsoever for winning the WDC. We all know that Lewis was perhaps more unfortunate with reliability in 2017 but Nico made the most of the opportunities and circumstances he was presented with. It is not the first time this has happened in a given year and the fastest driver does not always win.

            Get Over It, ultra Hamilton fans!

            1. Whoops. 2016!

          2. Rosberg deserved his championship in 2016 because he got the points he needed, period.

            1. funny you put a ‘comma’ before “period” ;)
            2. Rosberg won last year because he gained most points. And after Japan he had more wins than Hamilton with enough of a margin to come 2nd from there on in.
            I’d say deserved winner; like Hamilton in 08, 14, 15, 17.

          3. Well, considering Hamilton was also beaten twice by Button and beaten on points over the three years they were at McLaren, it kind of shows that Hamilton is one all some people make him out to be. He’s an amazing driver, sure, but he’s not so much better than his team mates, let alone his competitors.

    3. Says a lot about Rosberg’s real abilities after all, even considering Bottas “lack of preparation” for the Mercedes drive.
      Bah, I guess, to fare that well against Hamilton makes me rate him higher…

      Also, fantastic stats from COTD!

    4. I did some quick math regarding Kubica’s insurance payments.
      Kubica was reportedly earning 7.5 mn EUR per year in 2010 when with Renault. He was 26 then, with at least 9 years of racing left in him then. Now, the insurance payment is typically a function what is the expected yearly salary that can be earned and how many years that are left in the career. Had Kubica not had his accident, he would have earned 7.5*9 = 67 mn in his career. Let’s assume a conservative number of ~50 mn. Presumably, the insurance payment received should be in the range of this number. Let’s be conservative again and assume that the insurance company paid less than this at ~40 mn.

      So, probably, 40mn is the one-time payment that needs to be done JUST to ensure that Kubica can race again (Kubica will want a salary as well, lets conservatively assume it to be 5mn). In order to soften the blow of this 40mn, a long term contract with Kubica makes sense (5 years; Kubica has only that much time left in his career). So, the total payment required to insurance company + Kubica would be 40 + 5*5 = 65 mn for 5 years which comes to 13 mn per year. Surely, cheaper and younger drivers are available on the grid today.
      Hopefully, someone in the sports insurance business can help validate the assumptions above.

      One thing no one seems to be asking is why is Kubica not making the payment himself. Surely, he hasn’t spent all of the 40mn he has received. And I assume he is interested in making an F1 return as well. So, he should also pay money for that to happen. How much does he have?

      1. Your in-depth knowledge of the insurance terms and conditions is second to none….. Please make sure you forward this calculation to decisions makers at Williams maybe finally they will understand what they are signing up for!

      2. The insurance payment in the event of a claim is a function of the premium. What you have estimated is the largest insurance policy payout that an underwriter would have offered, i.e. they won’t offer a payout greater than the net present value of the income stream. In such types of insurance the policy typically pays 50% to 70% of the NPV in the event of a claim, and the premium is therefore lower than if it was paying 100%

      3. Very helpful analysis, sumedh, thanks!

        “Surely, he hasn’t spent all of the 40mn he has received.”
        That’s an interesting question. In the 7 years, apart from the costs of living and travel, he must’ve spent a lot on rehabilitation, but obviously there’s also this:
        Between 2013 and 2016 Robert did:
        – 3 full World Rally Championship seasons – 2 of which under his own banner, 1 in cooperation with a team
        – 1 full World Rally Championship-2 season – under his own banner
        – half a season worth’s European Rally Championship

        This easily sounds like millions of Euros spent. How much of his own money and how much of sponsors’? Who knows.

      4. He shouldn’t pay the full amount only the years he can race (if he gets an seat) all those year he couldn’t is his. And i don’t think he got 40mn at all think more around 10-15mn.

      5. That’s not how it works.
        Standard Death and Permanent Disability Insurances are always capped (typically A$375K were we are).

        Sports people and Artists normally insure their body for a fixed amount. Could be anything.
        But the more $ you insure it for, and the more risk you run, the higher the premiums.

      6. So, Sumedh, you pull a figure of €40 million out of your a!& and then claim it as fact. Way to go mate. There is no way on earth he received an insurance payout that high. The premium, given the risk, would have been unaffordable plus there’s the question that he wasn’t injured in an F1 car, which just might have affected any payout. Insurance companies are not known for their largesse and I’m betting there was a whole lot of wiggling going on, but If his insurance payout is a stumbling block in current negotiations , I accept it must have been substantial, but €40 million? No way.

        1. So, Sumedh, you pull a figure of €40 million out of your a!& and then claim it as fact

          I didn’t claim it as fact. Read my message again. I wrote that these are my assumptions and someone in sports insurance can validate them.

      7. Paying back the insurance company is just the same as employing a driver who is contracted to another team, actually that is exactly the situation except it’s the insurance company he’s contract to, so Williams would have to buy that driver out of their contract with the other team. So in that sense this isn’t unusual. I guess the questions become what is the overall cost, where does the money come from to pay it, and how do we turn this into a profit?
        As I thought about this it seemed to me the insurance company would normally have “washed their hands” of any responsibility toward him once they’d paid out the claim, and if he’d ended up as a destitute cripple in a wheel chair they’d have said they had complied with their contract and that he needed to go to find a charity to support him, so it does seem to be a little odd to be demanding money be paid back.

    5. l would really like to see Ric or Ocon with Lewis in the future, l am not convinced Lewis is the best driver in F1, Ves or Vet be also be a great match, but very unlikely to leave where they are.

    6. Sauber provides an excellent opportunity for Ferrari to bring in Alfa brand into F1 again. It could be a similar arrangement to Aston Martin branding on Red Bull. Some of the famous names like Farina, Fangio, Andretti, Patrese have raced for Alfa in the past and it could be a proving ground for junior Ferrari drivers in modern day F1.
      But Sauber also has to build a competitive car, at least one that can enter the top 10 on merit.

      On Bottas, I think Lauda in an interview has given a bit of insight. He says: “It’s difficult for him, because the car is very difficult to drive,” Lauda said. “Lewis can handle it better, and Valtteri has difficulties. If you give him an easy car to drive, and the way he likes the car, then he will be right there again”. The way the car was developed in the second half of the year, it became visibly more difficult for Bottas. But Hamilton, with his experience was able to handle the car better. Whether the direction of development was intentional is pure speculation, but Bottas has a definite weak point and it has been highlighted again and again by commentators in different GPs: ability to drive fast in the starting laps.

      On Williams, there is an ongoing speculation about seat sharing. It would be good PR but not a good strategy for car development.

      1. This. There is also the psychological effect of competing against a very capable legendary driver.

        Nico came in blew the wheels of elderly Schumacher and managed to many times best Hamilton. Including a string of 9 or something wins in a row…

        But Hamilton is even better now, and Bottas never overcame such a challange before. Next year he must show improvement.

        1. @jureo “Elderly Schumacher”? Jesus H. What would you say about me? ;)

          1. :D Well elderly by F1 age standards…. most F1 retire around 35, unless they are retired sooner by poor performance. So he was about 10 years past prime, hence elderly.

            For normal people prime is around 39 for women, 48 for men in normal careers. (Source: Forbes).

            In normal man’s terms Schumacher started racing again nearly 30% from his peak, kinda like a 62 year old man returning to his previous career after a 7-8 year old retirement. The walk of life that.

        2. Including a string of 9 or something wins in a row…

          Nico won 9 in a row? Please when was that?? And if Nico bested Lewis many times, what will we call Lewis’s wins over him? In all the years they spent together, Nico has never beaten Lewis on wins – taking into account all DNF’s and mechanical issues on both sides. More so, he only beat him on poles in a single year.

          I always find it amazing when people frame Nico’s achievements in a way that makes him look like he was actually close to Lewis. Indeed he was good, but he wasn’t close. And using Bottas as a yardstick is just plain silly. This is like claiming Massa is very good when compared to Stroll, then Stroll becomes “underrated” when he partners with Raikonnen and gets close to him.

          Truth is, even in his championship winning year, Lewis beat Nico Rosberg convincingly. More than he had done the previous years.

          1. It was actually 7 in a row, albeit over two seasons.

            The last 3 races of 2015 and the first 4 races of 2016.

          2. Lewis beat Nico Rosberg convincingly.

            looking at the result not so sure about that.. ;)
            And as you know, it’s the result that counts in F1.
            Ergo, ROS WDC 2017.

            1. Ergo, ROS WDC 2017.


              looking at the result not so sure about that

              Really? In the races not marked by reliability issues Hamilton outqualified, outraced and outscored Rosberg. He got more wins and more pole positions. What really swung things Rosberg’s way was the 40-80 points Hamilton lost over Rosberg because of car issues, and even then Rosberg only *just* claimed the crown. I think its pretty clear who was the better driver of the 2 over the season.

      2. @pinakghosh, another factor cited in Bottas’s decline in form was the decision by Pirelli to shift their tyre choices towards the softer end of their tyre range in the latter part of this year after coming under political pressure from the teams.

        There was a report which suggested that Bottas tended to prefer the stiffer construction of the harder tyre compounds, but was not quite so confident on the softer tyres as the car tended to pitch and roll about more due to greater flexibility in the side wall, whereas Hamilton could adapt to that behaviour and so could gain more from those tyre than Bottas could.

    7. “I now keep an ever-expanding PDF of people who have only just spotted the one after 20 years!”

      That’s not a good thing! Even now I see the red ‘speed lines’ as the 1, even though I know it’s in the gap! As much as the current logo carries a baggage of nostalgia, I won’t be sorry to see it changed.

      1. And that is exactly the strength of the logo.
        A good logo does not need to read like initials; it needs to be instantly recognisable without looking ‘dated’.

        1. +1, Egonovi

      2. it took me a while to understand that quote. then i saw the 1. however, i think i have ‘seen’ it before but i still see the logo, i don’t read the logo, as Egonovi says.

    8. Your in-depth knowledge of the insurance terms and conditions is second to none….. Please make sure you forward this calculation to decisions makers at Williams maybe finally they will understand what they are signing up for!

    9. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      22nd November 2017, 8:20

      This is why F1 is losing viewing figures. If Liberty want to bring back the fans they need to introduce more partial eclipses. Not artificially either!

      1. Hehehe, on another note, I wonder if solar eclipses are taken in account when deciding the race calendar. Imagine a race scheduled for a day (and place) of a total solar eclipse. That would be something…

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          22nd November 2017, 14:17

          Haha would spice things up a little.

        2. 2 July 2019* in Santiago (centre city race) or late afternoon race in Buenas Aires for a return of the Argentine GP ;)
          *That would be on a Tuesday though.

          Or do the Melbourne GP very late in 2038 (Sunday 26 December); would be a great end of season race.

          1. *Buenos Aires.
            Pido disculpas a todos los Argentinos.

            1. I apologize to all Argentines… At least that’s what Google translate shows.. Why?

    10. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      22nd November 2017, 8:26

      That’s very promising for Kubica then. I was worried that the radio silence meant the deal wasn’t happening due to his physical limitations, this is really promising that it’s contract/insurance based. I presume that’s why he pulled out of LMP1 as last year as well? Although he has done rallying and the odd GT race since his injuries.

      1. @rdotquestionmark, it could also be because he was aware of the difficulties that Kolles was facing, as Kolles withdrew from the WEC after four races as he was unable to fund a full time programme this year and develop the car for 2018 simultaneously.

    11. If you look at that Kubica article, a caveat is in place. I was going to say how extraordinarily proud and moved I am that someone would give up insurance money to fulfill his goal again of racing in F1. That being said, he is bringing a lot of sponsor money to Williams, and probably to augment his own salary, so I don’t think he will be coughing up the insurance money (only) by himself. That being said, it still says a lot about the man and his motivations.

    12. @hahostolze

      That being said, he is bringing a lot of sponsor money to Williams

      He is? I haven’t heard that anywhere before, link please.

      1. I’ll see if I can find a link but it’s been pretty widely reported that the largest oil company in Poland is looking to make it happen by any means necessary.

      2. Autosport has now reported that Kubica’s management team is working on developing a financial package in order to sweeten the deal for Williams.

        I must say, reading this news on autosport has watered down the romanticism/emotion I had regarding Kubica returning a little bit.

      3. While Paul di Resta remains in the running for next season’s drive alongside Lance Stroll, a reported EUR 8 million in sponsorship associated with Kubica, and collected in part by co-manager Nico Rosberg, could just be the deal breaker for the Pole.

    13. About “Comment of the day”,
      As a stargazer and a Formula 1 fan, i’m very interested on this king of stats. Thank you @MiguelBento !!!
      I remember the 2013 Abu Dhabi race with the partial eclipse clearly visible during the race.
      Amazing images !

    14. Bottas in my opinion has done exactly what Mercedes wanted of him, and that was to be a good number two driver to Lewis Hamilton. It is as simple as that, and it worked to perfection. If both Mercedes had been fighting for the championship directly, as we had when Rosberg was in the car, you would have seen crashes and points being lost. At the beginning of the season especially, Ferrari were strong and a situation like that could have tipped the balance in their favour.
      Atleast Bottas won grands prix, unlike Raikkonen who failed to win one race, whilst Vettel won multiple events. Infact, of all the top three teams, he is the only driver not to win a race in 2017.

      1. @The Limit Ok, that’s one way of looking at it, however…let’s not forget that who Mercedes actually wanted was the driver who they had extended contracts with in 2016, through 2018, Nico Rosberg.

        So they were already well poised to once again deal with two drivers going for the Championship, one of them once again being the defending Champion. They were absolutely willing to deal with the clashes, the trading of poles and wins, perhaps yes even allowing Vettel to come in and have an effect while those two robbed points from each other with Kimi taking few from Seb.

        None of 2017’s eventualities were of course known, especially Ferrari’s great improvement in form, so it remained to be seen if it was going to be another Mercedes 1-2 romp all season long, with or without Nico, and with VB instead. VB was the best they could get on short notice, due to the lack of availability of a proven WDC to replace Nico.

        So it turned out that VB played a perfect number two to LH while Kimi did the same for SV. However, I have no doubt that what would have been more ideal for Toto would have been the same continuity of the same two drivers shutting the likes of Seb out from even winning one race, or failing that at least locking up the first two spots on the starting grid and on the podium much more often than happened, such that Seb would have been overshadowed.

        I like VB but I question how well he can take the gloves off and go after LH, so I predict another year like we just had, of course without knowing what’s to come. Maybe Ferrari will dominate for a change, who knows. But I sure hope in the back of TW’s mind is that it should be Nico in that seat, and post-2018 it should be another driver that will take the fight to LH like we the paying fans deserve to see, and like Ferrari should have beside SV too.

        If they want to improve the product we need to have top drivers on the top teams, not #1’s and #2’s. That’s easier for the team, sure, and the #1 and his fans, but is not better for the sport and the rest of the fans overall. TW talked that way when Nico was there. I hope and trust he’ll go back to that way after next season, but for the curveball that Nico threw the team.

        1. @Robbie I’m so glad the snake Rosberg is gone. He conspired with Mercedes and the truth will come out one day explaining how he cried for Hamilton’s mechanics and for Hamilton to get chit engines in 2016. Anyways its a new era and Mercedes are finally getting it right.

          There is no need to pay another top driver in the current climate. An on form Hamilton + a competent #2 is sufficient. Slide the savings straight to Hamilton. 2017 was a thrilling compelling season and that happened without the intrateam battle you supposedly crave so much.

    15. Why would Mercedes spend the cash for another elite level driver when Bottas fills the bill so admirably? They won the constructor’s championship by a LOT, and that’s where the money comes from.

      Put a Vettel, Alonso, or Verstappen in that team and all you do is lower the amount of prize money by paying many millions more for the same (?) result, while adding a huge risk factor of team instability, crashes, intrigue, wasted energy etc.

      I’m all for upgrading for Ricciardo, Ocon, or any of the superb young drivers coming up in ’19, but it would be a few years before they could seriously challenge Hamilton at his current level anyway.

      Merc made the right decision. If they retain Lewis for three more seasons, that ought to do it for his peak career years in F1.

      1. Well, first off, I don’t think money is the issue. Certainly wasn’t when they re-signed Nico last year.

        Secondly, I struggle with this concept of ‘fills the bill so admirably…’ So would you actually be fine, in the pinnacle of racing, for there to be a grid full of #1’s and their rear gunners? I know I wouldn’t. I’m not interested in watching half a grid of drivers get helped by the other half who have forgone their dreams to help someone else achieve theirs. There’s nowhere higher to go in racing, so for me the drivers should all be there to win, not to help, not until the math only makes sense to do that as has always been the case.

        ‘Instability, crashes, intrigue, wasted energy’…thankfully the way I’ve heard TW speak, he’s not been afraid of that and wanted more of it but for Nico retiring.

        There’s also stability from locking others out when you have two top drivers in top cars…crashes sure, just as there are between any two WDC rivals even when on different teams…intrigue, ya gotta hate that in an enthralling series…wasted energy? Or energy happily spent thrilling a global audience as true racers who honour both drivers equally on a team?

        I expect more of the same at Mercedes for 2018, after which I expect TW to tire of only one of his drivers having to fend off the competition, knowing he could/should be taking up two spots on the front row on Saturday’s and two on the podium on Sunday’s and give the fans what they’ve paid for in the meantime.

        1. I think what happens at Merc may well depend on what happens in 2018. Not rocket science I admit.

          If Merc don’t win both of the championships or one even, then I think they might look at replacing Bottas with someone a bit more exciting with a bit more pace. So I mean one of those mentioned already like Ricciardo, Ocon, Wehrlein, etc.

          If however they win one or both titles then why upset the apple cart? Bottas is likely to stay in these circumstances.

          1. @phil-f1-21 Yeah you may well be right, but I just cling to the hope that they should upset the apple cart so that the fans have a better show than seeing such a strong team use a 1 and 2 and forgo an exciting rivalry, as I have already said in probably too lengthy posts already, lol. I know it is one way for a team to succeed, but I just think we the paying fans get robbed when there isn’t a genuine rivalry going on, particularly on the top teams, as the lesser teams don’t really have the cars to offer to the very best drivers in F1.

      2. Sorry, but that playbook is tired. After 2016, Mercedes owe it to Hamilton and as long as Seb is allowed to have an uninspiring lapdog as a teammate, then Lewis should as well.

        There are a bunch of so called fans that ONLY wanting Lewis to have an intra-team fight while glossing over that Mercedes has won the WCC. Mercedes already facilitated major shade last year and they would lose further credibility if they treated Hamilton bad.

    16. Really?!? How come?

      He was praised, some said to give him time because he changed teams, then it’s fair indeed to give every driver enough time (2-3 years) to show what he can do and to make a better judgement about his capabilities, but I’m afraid BOT time is up and (more or less like Kvyat) he kinda failed to prove he’s top material. My “wild guess”… ’cause he’s not. So, he may have had his own agenda, the car was there (best car overall), but this year showed he’s nothing special OR he (still) has some work to do AND it’s not enough to have the best car to win a champ. I mean, a better driver (VET) in an inferior car can beat a weaker driver (BOT) in superior machinery. It’s his case. If it wasn’t for HAM… It’s enough to compare him with VER and you’ll know why there’re so many doubts about his capabilities. 2018 will be THE ULTIMATE… if it’s something left to prove.

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