Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2017

Bottas sure he can turn the tables on Hamilton

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says he is sure he can beat Lewis Hamilton in his second season at Mercedes.

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Should Williams be more frank about their choice of drivers?

I actually have no issue with the fact that Williams have chosen these two drivers, as it’s clearly been done for a reason and the team’s management know far more about what it takes to run a racing team than I. What bothers me is the constant and increasingly pathetic defence of the decision; trying to convince us that the two (particularly Stroll) are world class drivers. I’m sorry, but if these drivers did not bring backing, they would not be in the car; there is no question of that. Stroll is not Alonso, Sirotkin is not Hamilton. In fact, Stroll has shown he is not even close to Massa, let alone the truly world class of the sport.

Alonso may bring backing in a way, Perez may bring backing in a way, but they have earned that by being talented enough to be worthy of backing in the first place. Stroll is backed by his own father, which is a totally different situation.

This team has run drivers like Piquet, Mansell, Prost, Senna, Hill and Villeneuve; now it’s run by a rich 19-year-old driver and his family.
Ben Needham (@Ben-n)

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  • 61 comments on “Bottas sure he can turn the tables on Hamilton”

    1. Bottas sounds like a late 90’s Coulthard v Hakkinen. Cannot see him getting close over a season, maybe 3 or 4 races maximum.

      1. For me it is more like Heikki Kovalainen in 2009, that was all the time bragging about that he was better than Hamilton and didn´t last more than a year in F1.

    2. “Sure”

    3. I think VB is saying all the right things but I think it won’t happen as he says, and if indeed he is more competitive vs LH this season, it won’t be with the same harmony. The gloves will have to come off. Much too will depend on the competition.

      1. Hes just sounding like Stroll and in my eyes it only makes his words meaningless.

      2. But then.. what to expect..

        “i will be aiming at every second place next year” ?

    4. In regards to Bottas, having a few vodkas before an interview didn’t sound smart.

    5. As surprised as l was at Rosberg winning the drivers title over Lewis l just dont see that for Valteri. Consistently out race your teammate for the entire season because thats what it would take. Seems unlikely. Plus take into account that the other teams will have stepped up too. It just isnt plausible for Lewis to fail enough for Valteri to profit and sneek the drivers title away. His job is to collect points and it seems so unlikely to out run his teamate. I see Bottas as more of a Raikonen. Real good driver but not better than his teammate. Who then will challenge Lewis? One of the teenage drivers. Nope. Maybe only driver champions. Vettel, Alonso or ?? But for Bottas it would be cool but unlikely.

      1. Er… Isn’t Raikonen an F1 world champion?

      2. The thing is Roseberg is indeed a top driver, nobut as good as Lewis/Seb/Alonso/VER…. In other words he’s capable of maximizing the car’s potential and he was able to challenge Lewis straight away and he even got under his skin with his tricks.
        Bottas so far was underperforming in that Mercedes, and this is the first time since the hybrid the era that a non Mercedes driver finished second in the WDC.
        Let’s suppose that he will raise his game pace wise this season which is very unlikely (hope I’m wrong) , I don’t think that he has the charisma nor the personality to challenge Lewis in the mind games department.

        1. @tifoso1989

          “Bottas so far was underperforming in that Mercedes, and this is the first time since the hybrid the era that a non Mercedes driver finished second in the WDC.”

          Lets also remember that Bottas did join the team with little time to prepare. And also, this is the first time in the hybrid era that Mercedes hasn’t clearly been dominant virtually all season. Bottas will have easily been 2nd this season if that was the case. Think about the times Rosberg and Hamilton made mistakes in qualifying and the race and still qualified and finish 1st and 2nd. Bottas hasn’t had that luck that much this year as 2 other teams have quite often been really close or occasionally better.

          I’m not sure why so many think it is unlikely that Bottas won’t be able to improve in his 2nd season with a team.

          I think these 2 paragraphs from the ESPN page do show some good reasons why he quite likely will be better this year than the last.

          Finding that extra consistency is likely to be easier now Bottas is in his second year with Mercedes. Not only does he have a better understanding of what is required of him, but the design of the car is also likely to be tailored more to his liking after a winter working closely with the team.

          “I think all the development we have done with the team over the winter with the new car, everything looks in the right direction in terms of what’s good for my driving style. That’s how I see it now in theory, but of course we need to find out. I need to adapt, but I think I’m so much more of a complete driver starting this year than starting one year ago.”

          1. I just can’t get this block quote thing to work like it used to. The last 2 paragraphs are quoted from the ESPN site.

          2. Exactly. When Mercedes was pretty much guaranteed a 1-2 finish, Rosberg never lost much ground to Hamilton when Hamilton’s car worked. But then Hamilton’s car broke down a lot more than Rosberg’s so it was easy for Rosberg to stay close or even in front.

            Bottas had neither benefit.

            Although there were also several races where Bottas simply underperformed. And not just the races at the fisrst half of the season when they more often had those explainable tyre issues. Like when all his pace was suddenly gone in China.

        2. Like ben said, you’re unfairly comparing bottas and rosberg. The ability required to get a mercedes 1-2 in the title with a dominant car is not the same when a serious opponent comes up (ferrari, red bull in the 2nd half).

          1. @thegianthogweed,@esploratore
            Perhaps I was unfair when comparing Bottas to Rosberg and on the fact that Mercedes isn’t as dominant as it used to be. I strongly believe that the nature of the W08 as a car that is difficult to setup/drive was the main reason behind the ridiculous gaps between Lewis and Bottas in qualy/races. Lewis which is one of the most naturally gifted drivers of his generation was able to cope with that while Bottas simply couldn’t.

            Mercedes is believed to have followed a different development path for the W09 over the winter in order to make it easier to setup/drive which I think will perhaps close the gap between Bottas and Lewis but I still insist on the fact that when the gloves will come up and both drivers will be fighting for WDC Bottas will not be able to support the pressure coming from the Lewis camp. Don’t forget that he will have to handle the issue of his contract extension. Will he play it safe and be the n°2 driver or will he go to war with Lewis, risk the clash and probably lose his seat ?

            1. @tifoso1989
              I think Bottas’s mid season slump was where his qualifying dip was most obvious. Although it is a bit strange going down hill mid season, I think the fact that Bottas was pretty strong to start with basically shows he will be able to get back to that level. And given that was when he started, I can only assume he will be better than that. The gaps to Hamilton at the start often looked bigger that they actually were. Bottas qualified 3rd several times. Mainly because of how competitive Ferrari where. To start with, he wasn’t actually that far behind Hamilton. In fact in Australia, time wise, he qualified closer to Hamilton than Rosberg ever had there. The gaps were not that big in qualifying in most of the next few races either. Then in races like Russia and Monaco, although Bottas qualified 3rd in both he was 0.095 off pole in Russia and 0.045 in Monaco. But as Ferrari were so close, I just don’t think Bottas’s pace was remembered here. Rosberg had quite a few qualifying sessions over his time with Mercedes where he was sometimes half a second down on Hamilton but still qualified 2nd. Maybe one reason why Bottas’s stats look worse.

              I certainly can agree that Bottas did loose it later on in the season. But in Mexico and the last 2 races, his qualifying pace was back and race pace certainly was good in the final race too.

              I am pretty confident that Bottas will have found some pace over the winter as he will have been able to relax more as he didn’t suddenly end up changing teams. In this time he will also have been able to work with the team to work out what he struggles with relating to the car and get it more to his liking. I don’t expect he will challenge Hamilton too much, but given he was better in 6 weekends last year, I can easily see that going up a bit this season.

    6. Of course he thinks that, he had better think that. What type of sportsperson enters into a contest thinking they have lost before it starts? Good on him and I hope he rattles Hamiltons cage.

      1. Exactly,

        No driver would even consider starting a season thinking they’re going to get beaten by his teammate.

        Bottas proved last year that he has the raw talent, if he improves, as he should in his second full season, and had worked on his deficiencies, he’ll certainly put Hamilton under more pressure.

        1. @dbradock, well put – whilst others here may mock him, I would have thought that most team bosses would want to see a driver who is aspiring to improve himself and not afraid of setting himself an ambitious target.

          If he doesn’t believe that he can, if he focusses on trying to improve his consistency and working on the deficiencies in his set up work, find a way to match or surpass Hamilton, then he never will be inclined to put in the effort to try and do so and probably never would match Hamilton. If he believes he can do it and does put in the effort to do so, then at least he can give himself the tools and opportunities that could tip things in his favour.

          I’m also not sure that, even if he did start to put more pressure on Hamilton, that there would be the acrimony in relations that some here think would happen. To some extent, it could be said that both Hamilton and Rosberg wanted a slight amount of acrimony between themselves as both drivers tried to use it to gain an advantage over the other by disrupting their mental preparation for the races. I’ve not seen Bottas trying to deploy such tactics with his team mates though – it doesn’t seem to fit with his attitude, which feels more like that of Hakkinen (perhaps not surprising given Hakkinen’s role as a mentor to Bottas) of being much more emotionally self contained (i.e. tending to focus inwards on himself).

          1. @anon Very fair comment there. I for one can be accused of being a little hard on VB, yet I like him and have no problem with him and do hope he can take the fight to LH.

            I also have no doubt he fully believes in himself, and that ‘gloves coming off’ doesn’t have to mean in the same context that LH and NR took their gloves off. For sure VB is his own person.

            I just wonder what will happen if they actually clash on the track though, not even necessarily literally, but if VB for example manages to pass LH on track a few times with a questionable squeeze or what have you…or LH does that to VB…I agree VB seems mild mannered, but then, he could find himself in uncharted territory as well, as he presumably will have never had a stronger chance at the WDC than this season. In general, if he’s going to beat LH he’s got one hell of a fight on his hands. But now presumably he’ll (they’ll) have a least one Ferrari to deal with and a couple RBR’s. I hope VB can mix it up with them even more this year.

      2. Well….good luck to the guy….BOttas HAS to sound positive, and there is no question
        that, on a good day ( Sochi last year ? ) he can be impressive. But Rosberg was
        no mug behind the wheel and Button outscored Hamilton over some seasons.
        But winning when it really matters…. Winning in spite of everything fortune throws
        your way…….and then some. There aren’t many you can speak of in the same
        breath as Senna, as Schumaker. Hamilton comes closer than most of the current
        crop by some margin.

    7. McLaren’s tweet: “look, we have them wimmin working the engineer thing! we alwight, innit?”
      Ron: :facepalm:

    8. I appreciate that Force India was giving ‘postgraduate’ platform as reserved drivers for Hulkenberg, Di Resta and Bianchi before they got full-time F1 race seats. But I don’t understand why FI give Barcelona time for a reserve driver. Wasn’t Perez and Ocon feedback far more crucial in early development?

      1. They are most likely not ‘GIVING’ him seat time, they will be ‘SELLING’ it to him.

        They have previous form

    9. “I would say we were a second to a second-and-a-half slower than the Ferraris. Overall, we were maybe two seconds off the pole qualifiers, so we need to knock a second off that if we really want to be competitive.”
      – I doubt they’ll be able to achieve that.

      1. And even if they can knock that second off it will not really help them as it’s a moving target they are aiming at.

    10. Bottas his job is taking points away from Vettel or whatever competitor Hamilton has. Wolff knows it, we know it, Hamilton knows it, Vettel knows it,… Whatever many say of Ferrari their 1-2 ideology it’s been well copied by Mercedes now and there is no lie in saying it just works better if your first driver is of the calibre of Hamilton or Vettel. Bottas is there to complement Hamilton and secure the WCC, not to challenge for the WDC.

      1. @flatsix I don’t disagree with what you are saying whatsoever. But I do still cling to the hope that the current driver situation is temporary at Mercedes, and that TW hasn’t decided the low road (my terminology based on my opinion of the one-rooster concept) is now the better path. I do realize the optics seem to be there and even some of the things he said last year may make it seem so, but I’m still holding out hope.

        All things being equal, Nico was to still be in the car beside LH last season and this…by contract. Suddenly TW’s hand was forced by Nico’s retirement. VB was the best they could do in such a scramble, sorry Valtteri for how that sounds.

        Of course without the tense and unique rivalry that was LH/NR the mood was always going to be different and likely lighter. I don’t personally subscribe to the notion that LH raised his game last year…he simply didn’t have real competition in the team, them having given VB team orders fairly early on in the season.

        But given that TW has had years to observe the Ferrari one-rooster way, and rather was willing to go through two more years of LH/NR beyond the most tense of their seasons, 2016, I indeed still hold out hope that TW would rather he and the team ‘suffer’ from having the two very best drivers they can get and lock out the competition that way, than to have a rear gunner for a designated #1. Absolutely that risks a one-rooster Vettel taking the lions share of the points at Ferrari while Mercedes splits their points, but the other possibility is that two roosters on a team can simply block out the competition from the front two spots. Ala LH/NR.

        When grilled in recent years about what TW was going to do about certain rougher events between LH and NR he said he would let them race as that is what respects both drivers and the viewing audience. And thank goodness or 2014,15,16 would have just been a repeat of the MS/Ferrari era…one rooster on a dominant team is just too predictable and unenthralling, and audience goes away. Case in point Austria 02.

        We won’t know until we see the cars placing amongst themselves and they run all the races of course, but I predict LH will have a tougher go of it this year, and VB will be less help as I think SV and Max are going to be even stronger, so I hope for 2019 TW will go for a top teammate for LH that can get both cars back up to the front, not just one, and keep the competition behind all the while honouring the viewing audience with an enthralling show. I just don’t get that enthralled with one rooster that needs the help of a non-competer to succeed. It’s legal but has always felt a bit like race fixing to me.

    11. I’m putting zero dollars on Bottas beating Hamilton, but there is an interesting nugget in his approach.
      Hamilton is widely seen as a better driver than Bottas. One of Hamilton strength is that he can step up to an exceptional level when under pressure. He’s shown that when racing Alonso in his first year, when chasing Rosberg in 2016, and in his fight with Vettel last year.
      But Hamilton also tends to make stupid mistakes when the pressure is off. Brazil 2017 is the last example of this.
      Bottas’ approach of keeping the team harmony might well be the correct way to beat Hamilton. If he can lull Hamilton into more mistakes like Brazil early in the year, then maybe he can – with a lot of luck – build a ‘Rosberg Lead’ (where second places suffice for the title) and finish the season victorious.

      But there are three big ‘problems’ outside the team who with the right car on the right track could ruin that dream.

      1. “But Hamilton also tends to make stupid mistakes when the pressure is off. Brazil 2017 is the last example of this.”

        Rubbish. Brazil there was no pressure. Hamilton had already wrapped the title up and took his foot off the gas.. Hamilton made no mistakes all season, when it counted, when the WDC was still undecided.

        1. Posted in error—originally misread Egoonvi’s comment. Please ignore my comment

    12. I still think too many people are criticising Bottas. Bottas although with a bit of luck was closer to Hamilton in the championship than Rosberg was in 2015. And this was Bottas’s first season. And he didn’t have any time to help develop the car to suit his driving style. Hamilton has a huge advantage over Bottas in this area. Then Rosberg managed to beat Hamilton the year after. And lets remember, over the past few years excluding the last, Mercedes has been dominant. We just don’t know if Bottas could have a lot of luck and end up beating Hamilton this year. Pretty unlikely but did we expect Rosberg to get the championship in 2015?

      As Bottas’s first year was quite a sudden start with little preparation, it wasn’t bad at all. With a new year start and a lot more time over winter to work hard, he could well be significantly better. I don’t think he will be very close to Hamilton. But I think he will have more weekends than this year where he does a better job. There were at least 6 race weekends where he looked to do a better job than Hamilton last year and I do expect an improvement.

      What Bottas has lacked this year is confidence. So saying what he is in this statement really isn’t a problem. I think he just building his confidence up which may boost his performance.

      1. Mercedes engines are super reliable unlike the ones Hamilton had in 2016, so that pretty much put Bottas’ chances at dead zero.

        1. The one Hamilton had in 2016 had one non finish in the year due to mechanical problems, just like Bottas had this year. I really can’t see your point. Mercedes has always been very reliable overall every year since the hybrid era compared to the other engine manufactures.

          1. @thegianthogweed
            So don’t engine failures in qualifying count??? You know the part when you have to position the car on the grid for race day???
            There were 21 races in 2016 and by race 13 (SPA) Hamilton had already burned through some of his components for the season and the season allocation was 5 before Penalty, forcing him to start from the back of the grid and stockpile, while Rosberg still hadn’t had a single engine/component failure and was sticking his 3rd or 4th Power Unit in.
            Hamilton started from the back of the grid in China and Spa, 10th in Russia all because of engine failures in qualifying and he also had a failure in practice at Austria.

            At the British GP (race 10 of 21, not even halfway point) the Engine Usage Statistics between Hamilton and Rosberg were:
            No Car Driver ICE TC MGU-H MGU-K ES CE
            44 Mercedes Lewis Hamilton 3 5 5 3 3 3
            06 Mercedes Nico Rosberg 3 3 3 2 2 2
            As you can see there were 11 races left and Hamilton was already on his last Turbo charger and MGU-H

            At seasons End (race 21) the statistics were
            No Car Driver ICE TC MGU-H MGU-K ES CE
            44 Mercedes Lewis Hamilton 6 8 8 6 5 5
            06 Mercedes Nico Rosberg 5 5 5 5 4 4
            You don’t get them statistics off the Malaysian engine failure alone.
            Hamilton used 3 more Turbo Chargers and MGU-H than Rosberg and 1 more ICE and MGU-K than Rosberg and remember the limit per component was 5 before penalty.

            The reason you can’t see @david-beau point is because you don’t know the facts, probably don’t want to know them or you do know them but some personal animosity is keeping you from being honest.

            Reliability Won Rosberg the championship, if Hamilton didn’t have any engine failures that season or had the reliability Rosberg had, Rosberg would still be in F1 searching for his 1st championship.

            1. I am aware Hamilton did suffer other problems in qualifying, just wasn’t quite sure what the issues were.

              The Mercedes is still more reliable than the other engines generally so I still can’t say Hamilton was really unlucky in 2016. I was missing a few things as Mercedes hasn’t always been that reliable as the engine they provided Lotus in 2015 seemed to have loads of issues. I think Maldonado probably had the most bad luck relating to a Mercedes engine of any driver over the last few years.

              My main point is that I didn’t think Hamilton was that unlucky that year compared to the majority on the grid. But I should have included more of the points about Rosberg having better luck. Sorry for my other comment as I maybe was a bit unreasonable. But I think Rosberg possibly suffered more bad luck than Hamilton in 2014 although not by as much as what happened the other way round in 2016. But I do think saying Bottas’s likely chance of getting the championship as “dead zero” is a bit unreasonable. One reason why I commented, although I maybe took it a bit far. Anyway, I have ended up moving this on to a Hamilton VS Rosberg discussion a bit too much here and that isn’t really the topic so we should maybe end it here.

              Sorry to both of you if you think I’ve not been fair with my comment.

    13. UK only, but nice little video of Billy Monger explaining how his F3 car has been adapted in order to allow him to drive in the British F3 championship this year.


    14. Also, he does not say he WILL beat Hamilton.
      He was asked if there was any reason why he would not be able to beat Hamilton. And he says No [there is no reason why it would be impossible to beat Hamilton]. Of course I need to step up my game, not have weekends where I’m a couple of tenths slower than Lewis like last year, etc.

      That does not sound like an overstatement at all.
      If he did believe he had no chance to beat Lewis he should not be in the team… at least it would not be wise to admit it.
      So Valtteri did the opposite of bragging – he could not possibly have made it smaller than this without cutting his own fingers.

    15. Bottas was thrown into the team and promptly goes faster in the very first race, and even with a few tech mishaps was right there in the championship half way through.

      But the first sign of drama like at Hungary and he seemed to wobble afterwards. Of course this came at a time when the car was changed to his disfavor and Hamilton’s favor so had double effect, but to me this showed it will be unlikely he will be able to cope with the pressure of a title fight even if he could match Hamilton. Just a few boos from the Hamilton fans on the podium or Hamilton giving him the treatment will probably be enough.

      1. Balue
        “Of course this came at a time when the car was changed to his disfavor and Hamilton’s favor”
        The car is developed throughout the season, and yes, it is more likely that the driver who has been with the team for longer knows the car better and has the ability to adapt to the changes. But your statement seems almost to suggest Mercedes developed the car with the malicious intent to disadvantaging Bottas.

        1. @bonbonjai A team sabotaging their driver is something only Hamilton and his fans will suggest.

          What seemed obvious though was that the car was changed to fit Hamilton, who were the one most likely to bring home the championship and most affected by the car’s early characteristics.

          1. @balue
            Come on. Where did I sugest Mercedes deliberately changed their car to suite Hamilton. Maybe you read what I said properily, before throwing an accusation like that in my direction. The car is developed throughout the season, it could advantage one or both drivers. Hamilton gift is his ability to improvise, and drive through those problems. That though come with experience.

    16. When Bottas is ready to retire there is a job waiting for him as Williams’ spokesman.

    17. Bottas need to step up his game if he want to challenge Hamilton for a whole season.
      The way he lost the Brazil GP by not putting up a fight at all was pathetic. Hamilton would never lose a race that way against a different car.

      So it’s not only his speed he needs to improve to beat Hamilton. He needs to be a top driver asap.

      1. “The way he lost the Brazil GP by not putting up a fight at all was pathetic.”

        That is a bit unreasonable. Hamilton has showed several times this year that it is very hard to overtake. He was stuck behind Bottas in Hungary and Abu Dhabi. Bottas’s only mistake in Brazil was obviously a big one, but I don’t know if Hamilton could have got past Vettel at a later stage. It is incredibly difficult when following in dirty air and that seems to be one of the main weaknesses of the Mercedes. People complain when Bottas tries to be defensive in the first corner, like in Bahrain 2016, then when he’s a bit cautious, they also complain. It was still the 2nd best result possible. It wasn’t pathetic. I thought it was obvious that he was trying later on as he didn’t exactly drop behind Vettel as the gap was similar most of the race. And every time he got close and tried to attempt something, it was then that the dirty air started to affect him. I’ve seem Hamilton and other drivers have this issue to. But it certainly does affect the Mercedes more than other cars a lot of the time. I agree Bottas could have been more defensive at the start, but I think he did about all he could after that.

        1. Yeah but he didn’t tried at all. His pace was inferior. He never looked like a menace like Hamilton does when he’s behind.

          That one defeat,especially considering that Hamilton was out of contention that day was a bit embarrasing. To challenge Hamilton first he needs to beat the others.

          1. What exactly do you mean that he didn’t try? He did squeeze Vettel at the start although it was a bit late. And after the pit stop, he most certainly did try then but didn’t quite manage. When he was around a 2 second gap behind Vettel, it will have been incredibly hard to get closer. He may have realised the mistake he made at the start and backed off a bit to save the tyres. Being close to the driver in front for too long can cause issues. If you noticed in Hungary, Hamilton tried to get past Bottas several times but then backed off. Was that useless? I don’t think so. I think he just did that to look after the tyres. Bottas may have done similar in Brazil when he realised his chances were lost. But admittedly, he should have tried harder at the start and defended sooner. But as you say that, when you are comparing him to Hamilton, it is clear that the 2 last race weekends were certainly better for Bottas than Hamilton. And there also have been at least 4 other weekends where Bottas has been better too. So 6 out of 20 race weekends where Bottas has overall looked to be better than the 4 times world champion really isn’t that bad and he is very likely to get a little better next year. The fact that Hamilton has been with Mercedes for 5 years vs Bottas with 1 also gives Hamilton quite some advantage.

            1. It certainly wasn’t easy to overtake, but it did him no good to lose that race.
              Hamilton also lost the lead to Vettel more than once and made it much harder for him on Spain and COTA.

              That’s why i said he needs to step up.
              His first year was good, sometimes great, but another one like that won’t make him WDC or even keep that seat for longer.

            2. I think I have to agree with eddie, cause if you look at austin, hamilton made the same mistake as bottas in interlagos, as in started bad enough to allow vettel past, but hamilton’s pace was superior and ended up getting past him pretty early.

              Ofc interlagos isn’t the same as austin but they seem like both tracks that give good overtaking opportunities, you can’t really compare that to hamilton not passing raikkonen in hungary, the 2nd worst track for overtaking after monaco.

              Now hamilton didn’t get past raikkonen in interlagos, but that’s typical, when you start from the back in 2017 with a great car you recover till 4th, then your tyres are in bad conditions, and at the same time you get a harder car to overtake (hamilton’s first ferrari in that race, which was better in everything but straights) and you can’t bring the attack, I’m pretty sure hamilton could have in bottas’ position earlier in the race.

              For a similar example that when coming back getting podium is hard, you have vettel’s malaysia, after all those overtakes his tyres weren’t in the best shape and ricciardo is very hard to overtake in general, and red bull was the only car that could match ferrari in that race, and he didn’t make it either.

            3. Fair enough @esploratore

              Eddie, I do think Bottas needs to get better, but lets remember Rosberg kept the seat after Hamilton beat him in 2013, 2014, and 2015 even though Rosberg had been with the team since 2010 so surely should have been a bit closer than he was given his experience. Rosberg made plenty of mistakes over these years although often was competitive with Hamilton. I don’t even know if Rosberg would have done much better than Bottas this year if he had just moved into the team suddenly like Bottas did with little warning. Even in the year Rosberg was WDC, he made stupid mistakes in some races. Spain I suppose was both his and Hamilton’s fault but Austria was a bit silly and yet he still managed to be champion. So unless there certainly is anyone a lot better than Bottas available for next year (which there could be), I think even a small improvement will mean it is likely they will keep him. Hamilton and Bottas seem to get on much better than when Rosberg was with Hamilton. Possibly because at the moment Hamilton doesn’t feel under threat. But it was the first year in a while I think where the Mercedes team mates didn’t mess up eachother’s races at some stage which in a way is an advantage to the team. It won’t just be about Bottas’s chances of getting the WDC that may make the team want to keep him.

    18. Hamilton is one of the best drivers of all time, we all know that, and that kind of talent is hard to beat. That being said, Bottas winning the world championship isn’t an unlikely scenario. Good form on his part, a couple of DNFs for Hamilton and other racers taking points of Hamilton at key races could swing it for him.

      In F1, as Alonso could tell you, the best drivers doesn’t always win championships.

      1. Hamilton will be harder than ever to beat.
        I doubt he will take as long as he did on 16 to solve a problem like that of those bad starts, the main cause for him not being a 5 times WDC now.

        Without that defeat i don’t think he would have beaten Vettel last year.

        1. the main cause for him not being a 5 times WDC now.

          And stupid me, i thought it was because ROS beat him straight and fair..

          1. Oh yes, you were wrong all this time.

            1. “the main cause for him not being a 5 times WDC now.”

              No, the main cause was Hamilton’s repeated engine problems. Rosberg lost more points to poor starts than Hamilton

        2. “the main cause for him not being a 5 times WDC now.”

          No, the main cause was Hamilton’s repeated engine problems. Rosberg lost more points to poor starts than Hamilton

    19. Possibly a good thing you opted to re-brand the site as I hear that Liberty are going after those using any sort of F1 branding on there website be in in the name or logo.

      The F1 Broadcasting blog is 1st up judging by there twitter account.

    20. Good to see the McLaren Renault fire up first time. It did fire up first time, right?

      1. Engine problem, engine problem!

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