Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Bottas calls 2018 his “worst season so far”

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas admits his second season at Mercedes this year has been the “worst” of his Formula 1 career despite having performed better.

Asked by RaceFans whether this had been his most disappointing season so far Bottas said: “Yeah I think it is.”

Bottas made his debut with Williams in 2013 at a time when the team was struggling to score points. “For sure the first season was tough,” said Bottas.

“But you can’t compare because with Williams in ’13 we were fighting at the back. I felt that during my first year in Formula 1 I can’t get my goals [for a] few seasons. Then a few seasons after were better than this one.”

He joined Mercedes from Williams in 2017. “Last year was quite different to this year,” said Bottas. “It was my first year with the team, first year alongside Lewis [Hamilton].

“I remember this time last year I was disappointed, I didn’t meet my targets. But now when I look back, at least then I won a few races. Some hopes. So now at this point at this very same point I’m even more disappointed, for sure. Yeah I think this is the worst season so far.”

Although he hasn’t scored a win yet this season, Bottas believes he has performed better this year.

“I think there’s been some very odd races,” he said. “Just things haven’t gone my way.

“I’ve been quite unlucky in general this year. I don’t think there’s more than that.

“I know the fact that I performed better than last year. In the end that’s the only thing that matters after a season like this, one to learn from, one to kind of also forget but one that definitely will make me a tougher driver and person in the future.”

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12 comments on “Bottas calls 2018 his “worst season so far””

  1. Bottas seems a perfect fit for a challenging mid-pack team (his Williams days).
    He seems to miss something to deliver in a top championship fighting team.

    His misses this year were not all his fault (e.g. Baku) but he lacks the assertiveness when it counts; to competitors, but also to his team boss and teammate.

    No WDC material in my opinion. But there are past examples proving me wrong on many occasions ;)

    1. But the ideal wingman.. i guess Merc is very satisfied with the drivers for now.
      The only problem will be another team with two strong drivers to grasp the WCC , something Ferrari easily could have done.

      1. Yes, if vettel had performed at the level that’s expected from him by matching hamilton, which raikkonen did with bottas (mostly avoiding mistakes really).

  2. I know what you mean. I was very disappointed with his last few laps in Bahrain this year. Anyone else would’ve passed Vettel with the state of the tyres Ferrari was on.

    1. @rockgod Especially Ricciardo.

  3. They’re destroying a driver to let Hamilton win at all costs. The worst thing is that Hamilton doesn’t need Botta’s ultimate sacrifice to win, he’s well capable of winning by himself.

    Bottas is no WDC material, I agree with @coldfly above, but he’s well able to win races. He has highs and lows but when he is in the zone he prooved himself unbeatable.

    In doing what they’ve done this year at Mercedes, they’re keeping him below his potential point. I hope for him he’ll find the motivation to continue and also hope that what we saw this year doesn’t repeat in 2019: like said before, I understand it but I don’t agree with it.

    1. Where are you getting all this from?

      This year he was free to run his own races, on his way to win a couple of GP’s earlier in the year before bad luck stopped that, it wasn’t until he was out of the championship running that he became a tool for Mercedes.

    2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      22nd November 2018, 21:46

      Ferrari did that too. Last year, Kimi could well have won 2 races, and we’ve seen him suffer from some awful strategies as well

      Meanwhile, RB let their driver fight freely, and that ended in a run-off area in Baku….

      1. Which is pretty remarkable considering Baku barely has Runoff areas :^)

  4. it’s definitely not looking good when you’re P2 behind your team mate at turn one, and one hour and a half later, your team mate is winning the race and youre P5, a long way behind P4.

    Hamilton is making Bottas look very bad.

    He is a good driver, but has obvious limitations in comparison with Hamillton, Verstappen and Vettel, and his race at Interlagos last year was already pretty bad. Its like he takes too long to make decisions. And his driving definitely doesn’t go well with this generation of tyres.

  5. Valteri, it would have been much better if you weren’t such a mousy pushover. Next time take a page from NR’s book

  6. 2020 season may see a chance for him to win. In Formula E?

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