Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Bottas says he “took one for the team”

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says he doesn’t expect Mercedes to gift him a victory back in return for giving one to Lewis Hamilton.

What they say

Bottas says he’s looking forward to next year already as his title hopes are over:

I don’t expect anything back from the team. If and when I win I want to win it like I’ve earned it racing.

Like I said before if I step into their shoes it’s a tough one. But obviously for me as a person, as an athlete it’s not ideal but it is what it is now, it’s how it goes and I think today was for me taking one for the team.

I’m a racer, what I want to do is win races but I also want to play it for the team and I think this year if we get the championship there’s nothing I can achieve that really matters to me so that’s why I’m looking forward to next year.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is Lando Norris being promoted into F1 too quickly?

This weekend has again backed up my view that Norris needed another season in F2. Very high risk of flopping in F1 I’d say.

To be honest I can’t see any way into the sport for George Russell in the near future, which is a great shame. Williams the only option but they’ll probably be going with Artem Markelov or Robert Kubica. Both good drivers but it’s a shame when the probable F2 champion looks like being sat on the sidelines.

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Carlos Reutemann won at Long Beach for Ferrari

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Keith Collantine
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  • 46 comments on “Bottas says he “took one for the team””

    1. I thought RedBull waited far too long to pit Verstappen….and why not try the Ultras….they were not going to lose 5th….so why not try it…it seemed a no brainer.

      But alas they waited until 10 laps remaining and did not even try the hypers….

      1. Weren’t the hyper expected to work better than the ultra?

        1. I meant hypers in the first sentence

          1. They probably were going to be even worst than the ultras.
            The best tyre for the race was the yellow soft one by far.
            This track is so easy on tyres that it must be the only case in the whole season the hardest option is the best.

      2. @mach1 they turned down his engine with Mexico and Suzuka on the horizon, Austin and Interlagos also tracks the Red Bull should do better than here. That it was this competitive in Sochi surprised them and bodes well. No point burning all the matches for a hopeless shot at a podium.

      3. Probably waiting for a SC.
        If they’d have been one, they’d probably would’ve won the race.

    2. If and when I win I want to win it like I’ve earned it racing.

      Like today?

      1. Swapping places doesn’t make a difference for WCC.
        I wish we had a WDC point system where team orders could not impact it either. I have an idea, but becomes a bit complicated.

        1. @coldfly I’m curious, what is this idea?

          1. @coldfly @wrighty88
            I think I have a similar idea: Making the results of a driver ‘transparent’ for their team mate. If your team mate finishes ahead of you, your result is counted as if you finished one place higher than you really did. If your team mate wins and you finish fourth, you get 15 points and a third place result as a tie breaker in case someone equals your points score at the end of the season. In case of a one-two, both team mates get 25 points and a 1st place as a tie-breaker result.

            But then it gets complicated: What about seasons like 1996 or 2014-2016, when the real fight for the championship is between team mates? What about a situation like 2007? The Hamilton-Rosberg years at Mercedes in particular show that such a system could make the fight for the championship rather weird. To fix this, a dual points scoring system would be needed: One that ignores each driver’s team mate. And one that counts the points as usual, to establish the pecking order within a team.
            But this could get extremely complicated, comparable to Arrow’s impossibility theorem: We could end up in a situation where driver A1 beats driver B1 (from a different team) but is beaten by his own team mate A2, who fails to outscore driver B1. And voilà, not only do we have a more complicated two-tier scoring system, we also have a real mess.
            This is not a hypothetical situation. It’s a very real one, if you look at certain junior formulae that have a general classification as well as a junior/whatever classification, where the same principle is applied more broadly. Pretty much every season yields examples for that messy situation, in which a junior driver who finishes ahead of all other junior drivers in the general classification, doesn’t necessarily finish first in the junior classification.

            And that’s why team orders might be the lesser evil at the end of the day.

          2. 2 ways to find a solution @wrighty88.
            Either way there should be no benefit in WDC if you pass your teammate (we cannot know if it’s skill or team orders).
            1) if you finish directly behind your teammate you get the same amount of points.
            2) WDC points are attributed by an expert panel based on a data driven review.

            And FOM should celebrate team success more on Sundays. Get a podium with the top 3 teams. And put the winning driver on the minor podium on the side.

            PS I would also change the WCC points count to only talking the points of the best scoring team member. This could open interesting new strategies to win the title.

    3. 40 years ago today Carlos won in Watkins Glen. He did win in Long Beach earlier in ’78, though.

    4. Must be thinking about a job post-F1 career. Everybody will hire him after that. Just thinking of the family probably. Job security…. somewhere other than the pointy end. It’s so cutthroat that all that matters is the record books. He’s a good man.

    5. If I were to put my optimistic Bottas hat on, at least today he was subject to team orders because he was faster than his team mate, as opposed to being used as a sacrificial pawn because he was so far behind.

      Doubt this would be doing much to cheer him up though unfortunately.

      1. Bottas was definitely faster in quali yesterday but I feel like he wasn’t up to the pace of Hamilton in the race. Hamilton was within 1.5s of him the entire first stint and even put together a purple sector the lap after Bottas pitted. With how difficult it was to overtake in Russia, Hamilton had the pace advantage in the race for that first stint.

    6. I also feel for Bottas , he drove so well , but , its a bit late in the season to start taking points off the boss , dont you think ?

      1. Correct, I’m sure the team would not ruin his the race of it was earlier in the season like Hockenheim or Monza :P

    7. He shouldn’t do that. It won’t pay off on the long term.
      On the short term, he will have to swallow it anyway, on the long term, he will get no gratitude from the team and be replaced by Ocon.

      He must be very open with the team right from the beginning next season, if they’re keeping him or not. If not, then he won’t need to be making any sacrifices for them.

    8. “Jesus saves a poorly commoner” in the pic.

      The amount of adulation Hamilton got on SkyF1 for being so gracious to Bottas in being gifted the win gave me the boak.

      ‘Lewis is Love’

      1. I should point out I do admire Hamilton and painfully accept he’s probably the best driver on the grid now.

      2. It’s a good picture and exactly what I thought too, but worth remembering one in about 4,000 available for the podium, probably, each ‘telling’ a completely different story, depending on which angle and milli-second freezing of expressions you choose.

        1. Absolutely. They chose this one.

      3. I’m an Hamilton fan but this comment is the funniest ever! COTD!

      4. I’m talking about “Jesus saves a poorly commoner” BTW. You cannot un-see after reading it…

        The rest is debatable but it doesn’t matter.

      5. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        1st October 2018, 22:18

        Hamilton is up against Cheryl “the nation’s sweetheart” Tweedy Cole Fernandez Versini Payne for the title of Jesus.

    9. Logically Wolff made the right decision. Emotionally though it was all bad. The Mercedes team wake at the end of the race reminded me of the Portishead line ‘how can it feel this wrong?’ Weird. At the same time all the poor old Bottas commiseration seems a bit condescending. After a reasonable start to the season, he drifted off from Spa onwards and this was his first real return to some form. Is that enough? Not if you compare to Rosberg. He seems to have settled into an easy-going number 2 role as it allows him to underperform but still be valuable. Today was a consequence of that. As for Hamilton, the team messed up his pit stop, he fought back well to regain the place (assisted by Bottas slowing Vettel down deliberately) and then – maybe for sound reasons – was given a place he hadn’t asked for. The team put him in an invidious position. Should have taken the initiative and handed the place back of his own accord? Yes, maybe. At the same I was impressed by the maturity and honesty with which he discussed the issue. Confusing all round. Next time, maybe don’t distract your strategist at pit time Toto.

    10. You really have to wonder if the seven point difference was worth all the grief and misery that comes out of these team order choices. Fans don’t like it. Drivers who earn these wins are demoralized by it. It is not sporting.

      I completely understand the statistical analysis. But, what about the goodwill analysis? As in, you just shot whatever goodwill you had for the competition of the sport by your team and your drivers right out the airlock. These choices were ugly back in the Schumacher era when done by Ferrari and are still talked about today.

      If your team has 3, 4 or 5 mechanical or driver failures in a row or something like that in the final 5 races, you don’t really deserve to win do you? Mercedes is far ahead in both categories and if it comes down to these 7 points being the difference for the WDC it will have meant a catastrophic breakdown of some sort on their part.

      In the meantime, the biggest takeaway from this race is that they cheated their own driver out of a well deserved win.

      1. @bullmello On the other side, if they don’t try exhaust all (legal) option they can to win, is it not sporting either? Mercedes situation is in the most dire compared to previous years, worse than Schumacher 2002 incident. Fernando is faster than you is reviled because at that time, team order is illegal, but no one ever questioned that the switch is in the best interest for the team.

        As for current situation, I do feel for Bottas and everyone affected (including Hamilton, Toto, James, and Vettel) but it’s the “correct” play. Everyone (including the fans) already knew in their back of their mind that something like this is a very possibility and it did happen in Sochi. It sucks but it is what it is.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        1st October 2018, 18:05

        @bullmello I absolutely hated to see that and it’s obvious the drivers weren’t happy about it. I think Toto’s decision might have been influenced by the 2016 championship where a retirement and reliability issues ended up costing Lewis the championship.

        I think he didn’t want to see a situation where Lewis suffers a retirement or some other reliability issue and he ends up losing the championship as a direct

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          1st October 2018, 18:07

          consequence. I can’t say it’s the right call but I can’t say it’s the wrong call either especially since a 5th championship is on the line for Vettel and Lewis.

    11. One of the dark days in the history of sport.

      Much less necessary than Melbourne 1998, Austria 2002, Hockenheim 2010.

      Hamilton was an almost unbackable favourite for the championship going into yesterday’s race yet Mercedes still stooped to taking a win from Bottas. It was disgraceful.

      Worse use of team orders I can ever remember.

      1. Are you still crying? Please, enough is enough.

      2. Worse use of team orders I can ever remember.

        Then you have a terrible memory. Austria 2002 was way worse because it was so early in the season.

        1. Austria 2002 was not worse. Schumacher had an early season 21 point lead in the championship. 2002 was only the second time in Schumacher’s career that he had the best car on the grid. Hammy has had the best car on the grid for 5 consecutive seasons.

          Cars were less reliable back then. Anything could have happened in the remaining 11 races. Back then there were no limits on developing a car. A two race lead in May was nothing.

          Hamilton did this with 5 races left in the championship as a 10 to 1 on favourite for the title going into Russia.

          He could DNF two races in a row and still would be favourite for the championship.

          It was the worst use of team orders I can remember.

        2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          1st October 2018, 22:22

          Anon is right. This is worse than 2002.

          Hamilton has a 40 point lead, in a bullet proof car, with a dominant car. Of course this is the first easily visible it’s happened yet with bottas labelled as wing man earlier this year… It’s clear this has been happening for a while this year already.

      3. It can’t be worse than Hockenheim 2010 if he wins the WDC.

      4. Not really, there are 5 races remaining and a lot can still happen. Better safe than sorry.

      5. Yep stay anonymous because your comments can’t hold up any weight at all. To say Mercedes have the best car for 5 consecutive seasons is oblivious to the fact Ferrari had the upper hand for most of this season, they’ve just found ways to negate their mechanical advantage. By all means Vettel shouldn’t have lost points in Baku, Hockenheim, Paul Ricard and Monza.

        It’s funny that one has to look deep in racefans’ comments section to find hyperbolic reactions to this incident, which shows how much of a non-issue it is in the F1 paddock.

        1. I’ll have to go through the races, but Ferrari have only had the outright best car at 3 races.

          Red Bull at Monaco.

          Mercedes the rest with Bottas acting as rear gunner just to consolidate the advantage.

          The Mercedes has been the best car for 5 seasons in a row. That’s a fact.

    12. Bottas, Massa, Barrichello.

    13. Now that I’ve slept on it, here’s what I think:
      Take money out of the situation
      The sport generates billions. The distribution of said billions is currently largely determined by Construtors championship points, hence the alienating of the sports fans by pleasing boardrooms above the athletes.
      We don’t care if they get a return on their marketing budget, to the fans the Drivers championship is the one that’s recognised as the ultimate achievement, and in the current environment, that championship is not decided on track. It’s decided at an arbitrary moment in the season by forcing it to become a team effort.

      Make it a Team sport then. Let teams run any number of cars with the understanding that their individual positions at the end of the race is completely unimportant. If the team wins, everyone joins the podium celebrations.

      Take the WDC out of the conversation. Let racer be racers, let them push each other from the beginning of the season to the last corner of the last race. Make individual race wins a Thing. Currently, we have podiums with no one feeling any achievement or getting any pleasure for beating their competition.

      Or we could take a completely different look at things:
      Make teams single car only. Separate a Team Championship from the Constructors. Let the constructors remain suppliers but change the WCC to a ceremonial title only. Make the individual race wins a financially significant goal for the team to achieve.I wouldn’t mind seeing AMG-Mercedes take on Wolff-Mercedes. Yes, this would have significant consequences on how the sport is set up and disrupt the sport from inside, but for the fans, the cream would rise to the top and the best racer in the best car would win.

      1. Personally I’m interested in pilots, not teams.

        What’s curious is that everyone, including you and me saw it coming a mile away, and the 2 most interested parties seem surprised. I can’t they haven’t discussed it inside the team.

        1. I can’t *believe they…

    14. RedBull in the back of the grid using old spec engine could still manage to overlap brilliant Renault’s Q2 strategy…

      1. And still Atiboutali reckons Verstappen should focus on the car rather than the PU.

    15. Regarding the COTD: The same was said about Verstappen prior to his F1 debut as well.

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