Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

‘I don’t want to be in that situation again’: Bottas vows to come back fighting in 2019

2019 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas goes into his third season as a Mercedes driver off the back of a crushingly disappointing 2018 campaign.

He landed one of the sport’s most coveted seats at the end of 2016 when Nico Rosberg, who had stunned F1 by beating team mate Lewis Hamilton to the championship, shocked everyone again by announcing his immediate retirement.

Speedily promoted from Williams, Bottas played himself in at Mercedes during 2017. He won his fourth start and added two more victories by the end of the season. The team rewarded his results with another year on his contract.

But 2018 proved a year of what ‘could have’ and ‘should have’ been. Likely victories lost to misfortune in China and Azerbaijan. And, most galling of all, the instruction to hand victory to Hamilton in Sochi.

The effect this had on Bottas’s performance was obvious. Having started the season on a par with his superstar team mate, he was a shadow of that driver in the final races.

“There was definitely a point in the season, I can’t remember the exact place, but it was pretty clear at some point that I’m not going to be fighting for the championship,” he reflected when speaking to RaceFans and other media at the Circuit de Catalunya this week.

“The end of last year was pretty… as a driver, once you have certain goals for the season, once you work hard for it and that kind of gets taken away, you have to try and reset and make new targets and that’s what’s not always easy. It was pretty obvious last year when I knew that at the end of the year can be difficult.”

Having taken time during the off-season to rest, cultivate a beard and drive a World Rally Car, Bottas believes he’s put distance between himself and the bitter end to last season.

“I’m not worried at all,” he said. “Carrying on the negativity from from last year I think vice versa, maybe it was good for me.

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Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019
Bottas didn’t win in the W09 – will he in the W10?
“I feel really good now. I managed to kind of forget all the negativity and whatever was left on me. I managed to turn that into motivation.”

His motivation is to “win as much as I can”, he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“I didn’t win a race last year and the only one target for the whole season is the world championship for me personally and for us as a team.”

That means beating Hamilton, a driver increasingly regarded as one of the sport’s all-time great, who is at the peak of his powers. But Bottas says he has beaten Hamilton before and can do it again.

“It all comes down to again details in this sport,” he said, “that is to try and be best me I can.

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“I can’t change certain things how I drive and so on but like I’ve said before I know what I can do if I can perform on my best level.

“I’ve been able to be matching and being ahead of Lewis in qualifying or race days and I know I can do it. And now it’s just hard work to be there more consistently than in the previous years.”

The other pressure for Bottas in 2019 is the knowledge that Mercedes’ rapid junior driver Esteban Ocon is jealously eyeing his seat from the sidelines. But that may add little to the burden of expectations on a driver who does not spare himself when it comes to self-criticism.

Valtteri Bottas, Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W10, Silverstone, 2019
Hamilton is a tough team mate but not an unbeatable one
Last year “was a disappointing season and even kind of nearly made me angry to myself that in my six years in Formula 1 one I haven’t achieved my target yet,” he remarked.

“Obviously I do have time but I’m starting to realise that you definitely have only one career and I don’t want to be in a situation again that I feel like that and I start to question myself, if I could have done something better.

“So this is what we want, to make sure this year I do everything I can to achieve those targets. I’m willing to do basically whatever it takes for me to achieve those.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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54 comments on “‘I don’t want to be in that situation again’: Bottas vows to come back fighting in 2019”

  1. As a story it would be fascinating to see Bottas bounce back from a very mediocre year and emerge as one of the best this season – leading the charge for Mercedes, comprehensibly besting Hamilton and possibly even taking the championship. Clearly last year affected him severely – similar to Kvyat’s demotion; it was like after a certain point he just gave up. Seeing him grow from that and come back ten times stronger would be very cool. Going from underdog and wingman to champion and winner.

    Cynically I suppose I expect him to remain in no man’s land – quicker than the midfield but a tenth behind the ‘big guys’, but I would genuinely love to see him take a huge step up. He’s a talented guy – it’s clearly there, he just has to grab it. This year though he’s got to make that step or next year his seat is as good as Ocon’s. He’s probably well aware of that.

    Though personally I’d give him the championship just for the beard. Phew.

  2. Gosh, things must have been pretty bad if it nearly made a Finn angry. :-P

  3. For him to fall away as badly as he did, then admit that the worst it did was “nearly make him angry”, it just shows that he doesnt have it in him to be a world champion.

    I’m sorry, I’m sure he’s a nice bloke, but the hunger just isn’t there (and it’s nothing to do with him “being Finnish”, before anyone says it).

    Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Kimi, heck even Rosberg when he really got the bit between his teeth (and future/potential champions like Ricciardo, Max and Ocon) have all showed those raw, heated emotions that prove how much it means to win, whoever it upsets.

    But Bottas is more like a Hulkenberg or a Stoffel – lots of driving talent, no doubt, but just that special ingredient that allows them to rack up the wins and fight for biggest prize.

  4. Yes, Bottas. But not nearly enough to make you improve your performance and beat your team mate.

    As for those incidents mentioned affecting his performance, it simply shows Bottas is not cut from the same cloth as champions.

    In 2016, Lewis came from an engine blowup, a DNF attributed to his team mate, and 5 other engine related issues that either saw him start from the back, not take part in qualifying, or lose grid positions – yet he was still in the running till the last race and only lost the championship by 5 points.

    None of those things affected his performance. Even Rosberg was not this weak.

    1. I still think it is unfair to compare Rosberg to Bottas. Rosberg had been with Mercedes for many years before Hamilton joined. Bottas is up against a much more experienced Hamilton. Also, If Mercedes had been dominant the last 2 years like they were 2014-2016, Bottas will have very likely had 10-15 wins over the 2 seasons. The dominance made Rosberg look much better than he was and the sudden chance in performance has made Bottas look worse than he is. But that said, Hamilton is incredibly strong at the moment. And I think he’s been at his strongest ever level in the 2nd half of this season.

      I do think Bottas would seriously struggle to beat Hamilton, but if good luck is involved, I don’t think he would find it much harder than Rosberg in the same conditions as there were that season in 2016. But now other teams are so close, I’m not sure Rosberg would be that much closer to Hamilton either.

      1. Also, If Mercedes had been dominant the last 2 years like they were 2014-2016, Bottas will have very likely had 10-15 wins over the 2 seasons.

        @thegianthogweed – No evidence to support this assertion whatsoever. In fact, give or take a few, Lewis has won the same amount of races since the so called era of Mercedes dominance.

        This means Bottas has had the same opportunity to win as many races as Rosberg. But he hasn’t.

        And why shouldn’t we compare him to Rosberg? Rosberg is the correct benchmark for him as they have both had the same teammate, and he is no rookie.

        Put simply, anyway we choose to cut this, Bottas is not championship material. Not in the same way Lewis is, or even Rosberg. If he was paired with Rosberg, he would still lose. And no one cares how “close” he would get.

        It is time to stop all this fantasy talk of Bottas beating Lewis over a season (all things being equal), or upping his game. Over two seasons, he has shown what he is ultimately capable off – and it is much less than his predecessor achieved.

        Even if we give him China, Baku and Sochi, that is still a measly 3 races, when his teammate won 11 and his predecessor won a minimum of 9 in past seasons.

        1. Well, I said this because Rosberg managed 15 wins over 2015 and 2016. If Hamilton had bad luck both seasons, I can easily see Bottas managing at least 10. And your claim about Hamilton winning the same number really puzzled me… Hamilton won 31 races over 2014-2016!!

          Maybe if Mercedes had been dominant the last 2 years, 15 wins would be a stretch for Bottas, but 10 would be very realistic. He managed 3 when Ferrari were pretty much equal and with Red Bull very close too.

          The reason why I think it is unfair to compare them is that Rosberg had been in Mercedes for 3 years before Hamilton was with him. That gave him an advantage over Bottas. When Bottas came, Hamilton was in 5th year with them and it was Bottas’s first. If all this is taken into consideration, Rosberg had a pretty big advantage over Bottas.

          If Rosberg had come against hamilton in the same way Bottas did, I don’t think there will have been much between them at all. Rosberg is better than Bottas IMO, but not really by that much.

          I may look like I’m thinking Bottas is very close to hamilton, but I don’t think that. I think it is very unlikely he will manage to beat him, but I just think you are overly harsh against his performance.

          It should also be taken into concideration, that Bottas not being as strong this season has resulted in him helping Hamilton. Russia and 2 or 3 other races would have been pretty hard for Hamilton to win without Bottas. So without that help, and Bottas winning at least 2 races, it would be more like 7 – 2 to Hamilton. Still, Hamilton clearly much better, but Bottas’s season isn’t quite as bad as some are making out. I myself won’t say it has been a good one though. But his first half was and if he can keep at that rate through out the season, I see it possible that he gets a fair bit better than he is now.

          1. And your claim about Hamilton winning the same number really puzzled me… Hamilton won 31 races over 2014-2016!!

            If you divide 31 by 3 what do you get? There is nothing puzzling whatsoever about the comment.

            Give or take a few, Lewis has won the same amount of races in all his championship years with Mercedes. And so did Rosberg.

            This means Bottas has had the same opportunity, but failed to maximise it.

            As for the excuse (because that is what it is) of Lewis having more experience within the team, remember, Lewis beat Rosberg in his first year ar Mercede, and won the championship in his 2nd year. This was despite Rosberg having 4yrs worth of experience within Mercedes over him.

            So why this need to be holding Bottas to a different set of standards?

            Last year was supposed to be Bottas’s chance to show what he was made of. It has now been shifted to this year. What then will happen next year?

            As “good” as he may be, he is simply not good enough to challenge Lewis and many other drivers. That is all i am saying here.

            I don’t think many would disagree with that conclusion, so why the need to split hairs and keep coming up with excuses for his lack if performance?

          2. I was talking about race wins being added up over 2 seasons, if you take any 2 seasons of the dominant era, Rosberg got at least 11 wins. And if you counted 2016 as one of the 2, that would be a few more. So like I said, If Mercedes had been dominant over 2017 and 2018, Bottas getting at least 10 wins over the two seasons added together is not unrealistic.

            I did make it very clear in my first comment that I was talking about 2 seasons. Bottas getting 10 – 15 wins in 1 season would be ridiculously unlikely, but given what I meant, at least 10 wouldn’t be unexpected. That would be under 25% of the races and if Mercedes were well ahead of the other teams, And Hamilton had bad luck like he did in 2016 in one of those years, Bottas getting close to 15 wins in that time wouldn’t be unrealistic either.

        2. I find it so cringeworthy when someone keeps calling Hamilton “Lewis” through all his posts…bit of a romantic bias, it seems to me.

          1. What is cringeworthy is you finding it cringeworthy that some people refer to some drivers by their first names, and others by their second names.

            Maybe i know Lewis personally in a first name basis. Maybe i dont. The reason is largely irrelevant.

            Point is, it isn’t only Lewis that people refer to by his first name, so why the exception to him?

            Bit of subliminal hatred it seems to me.

      2. @thegianthogweed, I would question that comment about his experience, because Bottas is not exactly a rookie driver by this stage in his career. He now has six seasons and nearly 120 races under his belt, which came after he spent most of the 2012 season preparing for the role (where he took part in the free practise sessions in three quarters of the races that year).

        Generally, the improvement in form of most drivers – even those hailed as greats – usually tends to flatten out after about five seasons in the sport, so by this point in his career, Bottas’s performances should be stabilising around a fairly consistent level.

        Even when back at Williams, one of the criticisms that the team levelled against him was that he was prone to going into dips in form in the latter part of the season and that, when his form did dip, he tended to then get stuck in that low point over multiple races. The dip in form in 2018 was perhaps one of Bottas’s more severe decline in form, but it is something that he has been prone to in the past, perhaps just in a slightly more low key fashion.

        1. It is a fair point that he is experience, but I’m specifically highlighting that rosberg benefited from experience within the team. Bottas did not have this when he was first up against Hamilton In the dominance era. Rosberg had already been at that very team for 4 years when they suddenly were significantly better than anyone else. Bottas happened to join when they were no longer that good, and he was against Hamilton who had had plenty of years with the team.

          I’m not saying Bottas isn’t experienced, just saying that Rosberg did have an advantage. He was against hamilton who wasn’t used to the team at first. Then as he got used to it, Bottas came and the team was no longer dominent. That is why I think Bottas shouldn’t really be compared to Rosberg.

          1. @thegianthogweed, there may be some element of that, though having been managed by Toto Wolff during his career up until he joined Mercedes – Wolff agreed to stop managing Bottas to as to avoid a conflict of interest there – you could argue that the transition to the Mercedes team was probably not quite as disruptive to Bottas it might have been if he went to a different team.

            Equally, I would say that the criticism of the way that Bottas has performed is not just necessarily against Hamilton, but in terms of overall expectations of his performance on the back of his performances in 2017.

            In 2017, whilst there was something of a dip in his performance in the latter half of the year, there was a perception that, having won his first races, Bottas was becoming much more self confident driver – particularly since, in both the Russian and Austrian GPs that year, Bottas had put in a very measured drive to withstand pressure from Vettel as he made a late charge.

            With those performances, there was an expectation that Bottas would show greater mental resilience and use that as an opportunity to improve on his own form, and to work on some of the areas where he was perhaps a little more vulnerable. Instead, there seems to be a feeling that, whilst he started out OK, Bottas generally seemed to go backwards in 2018 when it came to his mental preparation and the way that he tried to run his races when compared to his form in 2017.

            It is not necessarily just in terms of the number of wins that I think that people are looking at, but the feeling that Bottas is tending to fall into the same patterns that have seen him struggle before. In the case of Rosberg, the feeling was that Rosberg was actively trying to improve himself – he increased the intensity of his physical workouts, he spent more time working on analysing data, he put more effort into his race preparation year on year.

            With Bottas, though, there seems to be a perception that there isn’t that same self purpose and sense of drive – it is not just the raw results, but the effort that the drivers have put in to get them, where there is a fair comparison to be made between Rosberg and Bottas. It is in that area where I think people feel that Bottas is letting himself down – with the sorts of slumps that Bottas has shown at times in his career, you get the feeling that he is a bit more passive about letting that happen to him when a driver like Rosberg would be more proactive about wanting to reverse that sort of dip in performance.

  5. I believe Valtteri can beat Lewis, but it will take lots of homework to do it. When I look at last year’s results, it seems to me the Melbourne GP (Lewis 2nd, Valtteri 8th) was a good indicator of how the end of the season panned out between them (Lewis 1st, Valtteri 5th). I don’t know why Valtteri finished 8th, but he’s going to have to do better than that if he wants to be WDC.
    Winning a race is the consequence of many good and better decisions, many of which were in the driver’s hands, while finishing well away from the podium suggests one is making less good or poorer decisions. So it seems to me Valtteri started the season on the wrong foot. He needed to be finishing races right behind Lewis.
    We have really no idea as to how competitive the Honda, Renault, and Ferrari power units will be this year, but I think there’s lots of people who believe they need to prove they are WDC material, so Valtteri’s going to find it more difficult to finish races right behind Lewis than he did last year.

    1. It isn’t a good way to judge drivers by looking at the points if you don’t remember what happened. In Australia, Bottas crashed in qualifying and it happened to be about the worst track of the year Overtaking wise. But that shoudln’t be a race to base his end result of the season on, as over the first 4 races, without retiring in Baku, he would have been incredibly close or leading the championship.

  6. I simplyccannot understand the persistent desire to have a pity party for Bottas on this site.

    In Chin, the Red Bulls beat EVERYONE, including Bottas fair and square due to a fortuitous safety car. And it was this same situation that put him into the lead in Baku. The only true “bad luck” we can say he had was in Sochi.

    Even if we can count all 3, the fact that we include China and Baku (situations most drivers in half decent cars have faced) affected his performance, is a terrible indictment of his mental strength and abilities.

    This is like claiming Baku and Brazil 2018 would affect Vesterppens performance. And we can see how ridiculous that sounds.

    1. @kbdavies
      There is noting wrong with highlighting the driver who lost out the win due to a safety car in china. It was clear that other drivers lost positions too, but as the win looked likely for Bottas, he lost out the most as he would have got a bonus amount of points which the others won’t have. So he was more unlucky than any of the the others in that sense.

      And it is very strange that you say the only true bad luck was Sochi. How can you ignore that he still will have lost 18 points in Baku if he had that puncture. Is that not significantly worse luck that losing a win and resulting in 2nd place.

      Well, you make it seem like you can’t understand why there is all this sympathy for Bottas. Well, I think the facts stated here are reasonable and I don’t understand why you keep sounding frustrated when it gets brought back up.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      23rd February 2019, 23:43

      @kbdavies I think Bottas is a decent driver who is being shown up by one of the best F1 drivers ever. He’s not at that “elite” level but that’s not what Mercedes want. They just want someone to fill the other car, move over for Lewis when required and say that Ferrari are great. He’s doing a solid job at all 3 IMHO.

    3. I can hardly remember any race, when Valtteri was in third place after the start. That he was able to keepup, or stay with Sebastian or Lewis as they were squabbling for first place. At Sochi Bottas fell behind Lewis for at least eight seconds, before Hamilton’s initial pit stop.

      1. What is Sochi to do with this? Bottas was either leading or was 2nd the whole race. I think 2.5 seconds was the biggest gap he was behind Hamilton at any stage, and it was clear that all he was doing was trying to keep 2nd place, he was capable of going quicker as he kept closing up and getting into DRS range.

        1. Well, what i mean by 1st and second is when i don’t count the drivers that haven’t yet pitted.

  7. People also foget that whilst his teammate was in the lead, Bottas got overtaken by a Renault at one race (after a safety car restart), and by a Haas or McLaren (I forget which) at another race.

    And we are not counting various overtakes by Max Versterppen on him.

    If Rosberg could only beat Lewis through amazing fortune, then Bottas is going to need all the luck in the world concentrated upon him to achieve it. Or else turn into a Warlock or Wizard.

    1. The only time I remember a Renault getting by Bottas when Bottas had no issues was Palmer last year at Singapore.

      I admit you have said people tend to forget these things, But I can’t remember a time when a Hass or McLaren got by him. And as I’m a fan of Bottas, I do usually remember his high and low moments. It would be nice if you say what these races were given you yourself say people forget..

    2. @kbdavies That’s the point isn’t it? It took Rosberg a whole year of relentless dedication to beat Hamilton – and then he had fewer poles, fewer wins and won (basically) due to more mechanical bad luck for Hamilton. Bottas doesn’t have to beat Lewis, he has to beat him consistently over a season.

      More to the point though is where Mercedes will be this season. My bet (this week) is actually on Leclerc winning the championship this year.

      1. You are contradicting yourself.

        With all his “relentess dedication” Rosberg still didn’t beat Lewis consistently over a season. As you said, he had fewer wins and fewer poles. However, he had better luck and reliability.

        This is the ONLY way Bottas can beat Lewis. That’s all I’m saying.

        My bet is on Vettel winning this year. Leclerc doesn’t have a hope in hell of beating him.

  8. As many are commenting here, I don’t think Bottas has that final killer streak to become championship material. Hamilton knows it, and that’s why he’s best friends with him; just like Vettel got on so famously with Räikkönen, and Schumi with Massa. These top drivers use every ounce of opportunity to bend the chances even more in their favour. Rosberg retired after winning the championship because he didn’t have that final killer streak and it nearly killed him to develop it in order to beat Hamilton; he had nothing left after that.

    But even if Bottas could beat Hamilton this year, Mercedes would never allow it. Hamilton is marketing magic and the chance for a 6th title is gold. If Bottas starts strongly this year, you can be sure certain things will happen to dampen his progress; not a lot but just enough.

    What I am intrigued about it Ocon. That kid is on a promise from Toto, no doubt about it. But at the same time, wouldn’t Mercedes be idiots to put Ocon in the car alongside Hamilton before he is ready to retire? My money is on Mercedes keeping Bottas and Ocon going somewhere else; perhaps even back to Racing Point.

  9. Unfortunately for Bottas, he was up against Hamilton driving the best I’ve ever seen him last year.

    I think that can be pretty soul destroying when someone that you were at least “competitive” with suddenly makes a leap forward. Webber suffered the same after almost taking the WDC in 2010 and never really recovered the performance gap between himself and Vettel.

    2019 is really a make or break year for him. He has to find that “next level” or will be forever written off I suspect. That being said, it does take a rare beast to be that good (or some amazing luck) as has been shown many times over the years.

  10. You either have it like LH or you don’t like VB. When you are in the best car in the field you have to finish 1 or 2 Bottas is just not strong enough and will for sure loose that seat

    1. Ferrari often had the best car in 2018, yet Kimi often failed to finish 1 or 2. People are being too harsh on Bottas IMO

  11. Unfortunately for Bottas, he’s a good driver. Good #2 driver. He does not have the fire that make good drivers great.

  12. Bot is going to have to get REALLY angry! Rosberg finally did and he beat Ham fair and square.

    No more mister nice guy, Ham is not as good as he appears, he’s just been flattered by weak teammates and inconsistent rivals. Plus having the best car for the last six years…

    1. Rosberg finally did and he beat Ham fair and square.

      No he didn’t. He had a huge amount less of technical issues than Hamilton had.

  13. If “the butler” doesn’t show strength in the first couple of races he could be sacked. It should be fun to watch

    1. @bukester It’s nothing to do with performance. Both Wolff and Lauda said when he was hired it was about team dynamics. Being a good wingman and so on.

      In another recent interview, Bottas has said he will not be as obliging to team orders this year, which if it happens in all probability means this will be his last season at Mercedes.

      1. Well, Rosberg was far worse than Bottas at this, and they kept him on. And Hamilton has refused team orders more than enough times. I don’t think Bottas occasionally ignoring them will be the main reason for them removing him.

  14. Rosberg finally did and he beat Ham fair and square

    Do you know what the phrase “fair and square” actually mean? I ask this in all sincerity as i know there are many people on this site who do not have English as a first language.

    Basically it means – WITHIN the rules and WITHOUT cheating.

    So putting aside the numerous engine issues and DNF Lewis suffered in 2016 that undoubtedly gave Rosberg an unfair advantage, firstly, he comes of the racing line in Spain un order to block Lewis after making a mistake with his engine settings – thereby neglecting to leave him a “cars width” as stipulated by the rules, and subsequently puts him on the grass, leading to a DNF for both of them.

    Secondly, he runs him off the track in Austria – again, in clear contradiction of the rules.

    So, anyway you choose to look at this, Rosberg did not beat Lewis “fair and square” in 2016. At various times, he employed unsporting behaviour and broke the rules.

    1. Not again… New season and the old story’s revisited.
      Rosberg beat Hamilton. Next

      1. Read the comment again. This time to understand, rather than merely to reply.

        Nobody said Rosberg didn’t beat Hamilton.

        1. @kbdavies

          to be fair, you yourself did say the words “Rosberg did not beat Lewis” Which does sound incredibly similar to what you are saying nobody said.

          And Erikje saying just Rosberg beat Hamilton is hardly a misunderstanding.

          1. Stripping off half his sentence and then claiming he said something different to what he actually did is a pretty disgusting tactic. By the way its so weird that you think Merc will get rid of Bottas if he ignores team orders. Here is what you said:

            Bottas occasionally ignoring them will be the main reason for them removing him

            What an odd stance to take! Rosberg and Hamilton have both ignored team orders.

          2. Indeed. Pretty disgusting.

            It is amazing the depths people will sink to just to prove a point – especially when they can be easily refuted.

            You ought to be ashamed of yourself @thegianthogweed.

          3. I at first didn’t remember saying that Martin, but now I look back, I get why you have done it and it proves I have been unreasonable. So, apologies for this @kbdavies. I have taken it too far.

            I think we are always going to have diffrent opinions about some things, so I will just remember that if I disagree with someting, I shouldn’t really reply and drag it on like this.

            I think Bottas has done a bit better than it seems you think, but I will just accept that we have different views.

            Sorry again for this. And I thank Martin for making a good point by twisting the words on my earlier post. It did make me realise what I had done.

          4. No worries @thegianthogweed. Hats of to you for your humility.

    2. Rosberg beat Hamilton just like Botton did. Simple.

      1. No, it isn’t that simple. This is a “F1 Fanatic” website afterall, where people are aware of 1/100ths of of seconds between cars and 1/10ths between teammates.

        If you want simplicity in any F1 discussion, you are better off in a pub on Friday nights.

  15. Do people really believe OCO will have a seat, and that RUS is not the true coach’s favourite ?

  16. Sorry Valteri, but Lewis is a far superior driver than you. You WILL be in that situation again.

  17. Bottas needs to have a stellar yr or he is gone I think. Merc have Ocon right there on the spot and Russel coming through.

  18. my take is Hamilton used to win races with a donkey cart at mclaren..therefore when he got a proper car at mercedes he got even better…so Botas will have a hard time matching Hamilton…the thing is if he wins races that puts him as a championship sure mercedes will support him like they did to hamilton last year.

  19. Truth is that he is pretty crap for a number 2 driver…

  20. Rosberg beat Hamilton just like Botton did. Simple.

  21. “Hamilton is a tough team mate but not an unbeatable one” It seems he forgets Totos effect. Toto the great Mr. lie box.

  22. “I still feel i haven’t achieved anything yet”. – Finishing fifth in a car that’s the best in the field you can call it a massive achievement.!

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