Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

Mercedes drivers say Bahrain one-two wasn’t just down to “luck”

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas say Mercedes’ one-two finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix wasn’t solely down to luck.

The pair inherited the first two positions after Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari slowed in the final laps due to a short circuit in its power unit.

“At the end of the race we got lucky but it’s not only luck,” said Bottas after the race. “We [had] a more reliable car than Ferrari and that is down to very solid and hard work again by the team.

“Reliability is one of the key elements to win a title and we had proper reliability which got us more points than Ferrari.”

Bottas’s team mate echoed his words. “I don’t really know about luck,” he said when asked about Leclerc’s race-losing problem. “Someone else’s misfortune – is that luck for you? I don’t know if that’s true.

“It’s a [fortunate] situation but he was just unlucky, they were just unlucky with whatever issues they had on their car.

“We’ve come out with maximum points, we’ve both ended up first and second. You could say that’s lucky but I don’t like using the word ‘luck’, I don’t think they’ve done something and they don’t deserve it this weekend and the same the other ways.”

Hamilton said he doesn’t consider winning races through luck as payback for any past misfortunes of his own.

“I’m not superstitious so I don’t come here thinking this is a reward for some past experience” he said.

“I do think about karma, more in a negative, do to those as you want to be done to you kind of thing. But otherwise I don’t take it really into account in terms of racing. I want my team to be as clean and as straight as possible and we want to win on merit and that’s how I drive. I don’t bash my way through, I try to do things the right way.”

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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...
Keith Collantine
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28 comments on “Mercedes drivers say Bahrain one-two wasn’t just down to “luck””

  1. 1-2 was luck, 2-3 was what they had earned on their own merit and 3-4 would have been damage limitation.

    1. The TEAM earned the 1-2 on merit by building a more reliable car than their competitor. That’s a fact and should fit with the ‘Ferrari’ are hopeless narrative that it’s ‘fans’ love to push year after year no?

  2. if u in the right place at the right time with a car that fails to fail then i think its got more to do than just luck. although it does point to luck. but luck is when u gain something and you cant explain why. in this case they can explain why. even ferreri can explain their “bad luck” which it wasnt. a failure on a part. …to finish first first you have to finish…

  3. yeah, as a racing team Mercedes makes its own luck. It shows why they are still the title favourites despite having a (slight) speed disadvantage with the car currently.

  4. If a race is a closed system with a total given amount of luck, others’ misfortune is indeed more luck for someone else.

    The key is always be there to catch any occasion and Lewis is pretty good at it.

  5. It’s a [fortunate] situation but he was just unlucky

    And Mercedes wasn’t faster; the others were shower. Hamilton didn’t win; the others lost. And he didn’t finished first; others simply finished later.
    I do think about words, more in a negative.

    1. I do think about words,

      the others were shower.

      lol—-:)

  6. If a lightning hit the car or an animal run across damaging the car then maybe you could say luck is involved but the car had an issue, and as we know F1 is 80% car so no luck, just not as good engineering.

    1. They should engineer the cars against lightning strikes; animal impacts; and Armageddon.

      1. Like Mercedes you mean??

  7. Just before the season started Toto said they’re focusing on reliability more than just performance as that would win them title. So far he’s proven to be right!!

  8. Got it now: they pushed Ferrari into blowing up their engines and doing mistakes!

    1. Leclerc who dominated the whole weekend was very unlucky not to win but mercedes won partly because of good reliability and vettel who was clumsy again.

  9. Luck will even out long-term, so prepare…

    1. Luck doesn’t ‘even out’; it it did, it wouldn’t be ‘luck’.

      1. lucky + unlucky evens out

  10. Considering the rarity of the failure on the ferrari than yes it was luck. Mercedes drivers have been lucky since 2014, no 9ne in the history of drivers in f1 has been as lucky to have a fast and reliable car for so many races over so mNy years.

    1. no 9ne in the history of drivers in f1 has been as lucky to have a fast and reliable car for so many races over so mNy years

      How dare Lewis and Valtteri exist in 2019 and not 1979…

    2. Vettel had the fastest and most reliable car last season. Yet he still managed to throw it all away.

      1. And they still treat him as number 1 driver, sooner or later they’ll have to see the truth.

  11. “I’m not superstitious..” says man who frequently quotes God being with him!

    In all seriousness though, I considered it luck at the time but the Mercedes team are correct. The truth is that they won because of mistakes made by their closest rivals (1 being whatever caused the failure in LeClerk’s car, and the other by Vettel when he spun). To err is to be human, and in a sport where the margins can be so small – the team who makes the least mistakes can really capitalise. Vettel may be dogged with spinning off, but Lewis sometimes struggles to make a great start – everyone makes mistakes.

    It wasn’t necessarily luck, but great work by all members of the team. ….Me swapping Ferrari for Mercedes in my Fantasy F1 team with only 1 minute to go before qualifying was luck though!

  12. @geekzilla9000

    Many religious people consider luck to be a superstition, as opposed to their legitimate religious beliefs. When he says he is blessed he is ascribing luck to the providence of an almighty God. It is normally said with humility, but taken with predictable offense by those who were not blessed, or who’s beliefs were belittled as superstitions.

    Hamilton is being wise to wait until the end of the season to count his blessings. He knows this isn’t luck, probably because managing the reliability of the car is part if his job. He also knows if Merc can’t keep up he’ll have to turn his engine up and risk failures. On could argue this happened to Ferrari the last two seasons.

    I do think this was rotten luck for Leclerc. Without knowing the exact details it seems a short is unlikely to be caused by running the engine too hard, but rather by poor assembly or quality control.

  13. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity, so in that sense I guess they were.

  14. A car failure isn’t bad luck unless, perhaps, a racing incident or track issue caused it. It’s a car failure and down to the team. So basically Mercedes deserved the win, having assembled a car that lasted the distance.

  15. Just the swing of the pendulum. Merc botched a few races in the recent past they should have had and this is just the other way around.

  16. Toto’s going to be angry about those comments from Bottas…. It’s almost like he’s saying Mercedes is the best team!

    1. @petebaldwin Toto would agree that Mercedes is the best team. Toto does also point out however, that Ferrari have the faster car.

      Two different things. Try to understand the distinction.

  17. Yep, fair assessment i would say. Everyone acts like its never happened before. Boo hoo, thats motor racing

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