Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Has ‘Bottas 2.0’ cut the gap to Hamilton – or is this another false dawn?

2019 F1 season

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Before the season began the biggest potential threat to reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton appeared to come from rivals Ferrari.

But the Scuderia has largely failed to live up to its pre-season testing form, and Hamilton instead faces a renewed challenge from within his own team. Valtteri Bottas has matched Hamilton’s two wins, and while last year he was 30 points adrift in the championship at this stage, after Azerbaijan he holds a one-point lead over his team mate.

Four races in, it’s 2-2 between the pair in the all-important qualifying battle. Bottas has clearly clicked with the W10 and started 2019 in far better shape than he ended the previous season.

This isn’t the first time Bottas has started a season strongly. In fact since he joined Mercedes he’s tied 2-2 with Hamilton over the opening four races in all three seasons, then dropped off the pace over the rest of the season. In both 2017 and 2018, he seldom out-qualified Hamilton after the summer break:

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2019
Bottas romped to victory in round one
So is it really the case that we’re looking at a faster, stronger ‘Bottas 2.0’, or does he just tend to start a season strongly and then fade? Does he have the knack of mastering a tricky car quickly, while Hamilton is taking longer to play himself in with a car he has described as “tricky to work with”?

Bottas doesn’t see it that way: “For sure Lewis can adapt as well to difficult car to drive. But maybe it depends more like how the car is actually behaving in which way.

“Sometimes he can extract more and sometimes he might struggle more. For me the same thing, it really depends on the circumstances so I can’t really point out one particular trend why it would be differences between us.

“It’s all about details as we’ve seen in the past few years our car is very quick but it’s also sometimes been so easy to get it completely right in terms of set-up and it’s not always maybe the most easier car to drive.”

However he does believe he has narrowed the gap to Hamilton over the off-season. “Every year performance-wise I’ve been able to make steps in my career and again I feel I’ve made one,” he said.

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Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2019
Baku win put him back on top in the championship
“Obviously it’s a long season ahead and again long season still with an opportunity to improve during the year. But early stages, yes, performance-wise we’ve been close which is good and also the points we’re close at the moment. There’s no magic it’s just working on how to improve, focusing on the details.”

Given his experience and history with the team, plus his status as a five-times champion, Hamilton might be expected to have more of a say on Mercedes’ development direction. However Bottas feels that, following changes on his side of the garage, he is having more input on the progress the team is making.

“I think this year has been a bit different to last year,” he explained. “I’ve been maybe a bit more direct and maybe can say aggressive in terms of how big changes we’ve been making in the practice and what kind of set-up directions we’ve been taking.

“As the years go by you gain confidence in knowing what you exactly need from the car and how you feel the car will be quicker for you.”

As his former race engineer Tony Ross has moved over to Mercedes’ Formula E programme, Riccardo Musconi is now in charge on the number 77 Mercedes. Bottas says this “brings maybe different ideas on the table and different way of thinking which then makes me also think different things on the set-up, what we work me and for the car and for the quali, for the race, so on.”

The driver says he is in better shape too. New rules setting a minimum weight limit for drivers have allowed him to put more weight on, and Bottas said this was his first F1 off-season where he hasn’t fallen ill.

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Following another one-year renewal on his contract, Bottas came into 2019 aware Mercedes have Esteban Ocon waiting in the wings for an opportunity to take arguably the most coveted seat on the grid. Bottas has surely seen off that threat, but the question now is whether he can do what his predecessor Nico Rosberg did and beat Hamilton to the title.

“For sure it’s not easy to beat him,” said Bottas. “it’s always difficult to be ahead of him. But I know it’s possible and it’s been closer and closer as we’ve been together in the team.”

Whether Bottas can sustain his recent form will be crucial to his championship chances. The margins between the pair have been incredibly fine – less than a tenth of a second in the last three qualifying sessions. If Bottas can qualify ahead at the next two races – Spain and Monaco, both tracks where overtaking is notoriously difficult – he will be superbly placed to stretch out his hard-won one-point lead.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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2019 F1 season

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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...

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58 comments on “Has ‘Bottas 2.0’ cut the gap to Hamilton – or is this another false dawn?”

  1. Hamilton’s strength is not just his race craft, it is also his mental ability across a period of time (even if he has an off day here and there). Bottas has shown he has enough race craft, and has also shown us his assertive driving this season. As to mental ability, the article rightly summarized:

    Whether Bottas can sustain his recent form will be crucial

    is something we’ll know by the end of the season.

    I for one had very low expectations of Bottas after he disappeared into a mental black hole in 2018. So, to see him come back strong this season is a very positive sign.

    Fingers crossed, because Bottas is the only hope we have of excitement at the front of this year’s field.

    1. I’m starting to think mental ability could be the main force of Hamilton, really.
      Too many drivers did manage to beat him on pure speed with equal machinery, Button, Rosberg and now Bottas. Good drivers, but far from legendary. I couldn’t see any of these guys giving Schumacher, Prost or Senna any fuss.
      Perhaps hamilton is not that exceptional in terms of pure driving talent, but he is able to give his true best when it counts the most.

      1. You are comparing BOT with Button & Rosberg? Come on people! I get people really want any form of excitement from F1 that is possible right now but we are 4 races into the season, 4 races! Sure he has driven very well so far but all this talk of BOT challenging Ham for the title is, at the moment, OTT. In 14 & 15 Rosberg went on back to back winning streaks many times… BOT hasn’t even done that yet. I know people are craving for Lewis to be beat but a little perspective is needed. When ROS won in 16 he won the first 4 or 5 races…and he still needed a bit of luck to shine his way to get over the line.

        1. Where have I compared Bottas with Rosberg and Button? Just because I stated no one of them is legend?
          All I’ve said is, in my opinion, neither of them had the ability to beat true legends of the sport.
          Since all of them, to different extents, gave Hamilton some headaches, I thought this could be a valid argument to figure out Hamilton’s place among the greats.

          1. Hamilton’s place among the greats is cemented. To decide where any of those greats sit in that list will only ever be opinion.
            I take your point about your Button & Ros comment, slightly misquoted you there but to question how Rosberg may fair against Schumacher? The results are in…. he beat him 3 seasons out of 3, in every aspect. He didbt fair quite as well against Hamilton mind.

          2. Rosberg didn’t beat the Michael Schumacher.
            He barely outscored, with a decent amount of luck, the paler 40plus years old version of him.

          3. @liko41:

            Rosberg v Schumacher:
            2010: 142 to 72
            2011: 89 to 76
            2012: 93 to 49

            Hamilton v. Button:
            2010: 240 to 214
            2011: 227 to 270
            2012: 190 to 188

            Hamilton v. Rosberg:
            2013: 189 to 171
            2014: 384 to 317
            2015: 381 to 322
            2016: 380 to 385

            You’re really going to claim Hamilton was beaten by Button and Rosberg, but that Schumacher wasn’t beaten by Rosberg? Really?

          4. F1oSaurus (@)
            7th May 2019, 17:08


            At the start of 2016 Hamilton had several technical issues and was crashed into a few times. Then Hamilton also had to waste the race at Spa because he needed the broken engine parts replaced. Then when Hamilton had made up that gap, his engine blew gifting Rosberg 25+3=28 points.

            For instance in China and Russia Hamilton couldn’t take part in Q3, because of technical issues. So yes, when Hamilton cannot participate, Rosberg automatically “out-qualifies” Hamilton and obviously wins the race. That doesn’t mean that Rosberg “beat” Hamilton though.

            Bahrain, Hamilton gets rammed from the back by Bottas. Again, of course Rosberg wins, but that’s hardly on merit either.

        2. Otoh, BOT came into a team that already revered Hamilton, while ROS was in the team before Hamilton. Very different circumstances.

      2. Rosberg beat Schumacher three years a row.

        1. Nope. Barely outscored his pale version.

      3. @Fantomius
        Hamilton is an exceptional driver IMO – his race craft and his speed wet or dry is second to none. And any of those great drivers you mention could be beaten by a good if not great teammate on any given day. However there are two big differences in modern F1 – tires and driving traces. Todays F1 driver spends as much time managing tires as racing and (as Eddie Irvine once said) once upon a time a driver could drive round all day and never know where or how his ‘talented’ teammate was quicker, now they just look at the trace. Both these elements have played a big part in narrowing the gap between the great and the very good.

        1. Bottas’ “given day” seems to happen pretty often, huh?

          1. Yes. And ‘given day’ is now more frequent for the reasons I specified. Doh.

    2. BlackJackFan
      7th May 2019, 18:15

      “…is something we’ll know by the end of the season.”

      Is this something you worked out all on your own…? Or is it a euphemism for that other inane phrase: “Let’s wait and see…” that has been bandied about this year more than in all the other F1 years put together… ;-)

      1. Is this something you worked out all on your own…?

        Yep, totally original thought. Problem?

        1. BlackJackFan
          8th May 2019, 3:08

          Hahaha ;-)

    3. @phylyp @liko41 I agree, though the word I would use to describe Hamilton’s psychology is “efficient”. He doesn’t waste intellectual or emotional energy and approaches the climax of the season mentally fresh, and can come back year after year and do it all again. Rosberg freely admitted that his WDC year exhausted him and of course he was quite happy to walk away from F1 having achieved it. Similarly Bottas is having to work visibly harder psychologically to compete with Hamilton, making it tougher for him to sustain it throughout a season.

  2. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    7th May 2019, 13:37

    To be completely honest, I hope so. There was a poll here before the season started on which team-mates would do better than the other and I was one of the what, four people that voted for Bottas?

    Admittedly even after winning the first race I wasn’t totally sure he’d keep that momentum but four races later he’s leading the championship so… as for whether he can sustain this level of form, early indications look good. He’s seemed stronger, hungrier, aggressive and a little more firm than the Bottas of old.

    Also given how poorly Ferrari are doing already if Bottas does fade Hamilton will have the title wrapped up with what, seven or eight races to spare? It’s best for all of us if he stays in contention for as long as possible.

    1. I was one of the what, four people that voted for Bottas?

      If it is any consolation @rocketpanda, I was one of those four as well.

      1. @rocketpanda @geemac – if you can only find the other two, you can form a band known as “The Bottles” ;-)

        1. @phylyp @rocketpanda @geemac Color me in for 3rd.

          Bottas has nothing to lose, considering he was/is already facing the axe. That is a strength! Obviously one of many things he needs to win a championship. But like others have said, Bottas 2.0 can at least make the championship interesting. The weight rule should help him in the later stages.

  3. Ghost Racer (@sibusisokolwapi)
    7th May 2019, 13:40

    I hope he can sustain this form otherwise the season won’t be worth following as the Ferrari is not competitive this year.

    I think the weight gain will help him not to fade physically which is what was probably contributing to his loss of form as the season went on.

    1. Same here. Lets hope Bottas 2.0 is for real. Otherwise it’s gonna be a boring season with Ferrari coming 3-5 4-5 every race and Bottas content with 2nd place.

  4. I really don’t know where this view that Hamilton struggles to adapt to a car has come from….

    I first heard it last a few weeks ago….I think it was Jolyon Palmer on the BBC or one of the Sky commentators. But, who ever said it, immediately made me spit out my drink in complete confusion.

    I really don’t get where the narrative has come from. Just because Bottas started the year a bit better, there is the immediate assumption he can adapt better. Did people forget what happened last year…when…you know….he failed to adapt at all.

    OK, maybe that last point is a bit hyperbolic, but it is no less silly than saying Hamilton stuggles to adapt to his cars and that he needs a very specific operating window to work, which is pretty much what I heard someone say.

    Hamilton, whether you like him or not, has proved to be one of those drivers that is able to wring the neck out of any car he has driven and put it in winning positions.

    Does he not still hold a record of winning a race in every year he has competed (and therefore every car)? Now, you might say that is an easy stat to have, but don’t forget some of the dogs McLaren produced (albeit improved them during development) before he left.

    Button used to have the moniker of a driver that only performed well in a specific window of how a car operated. That I could understand, it was demonstrated time and time again. But Hamilton….either the pundits have nothing to talk about and have decided to invent an Achilles heel, or they are not watching the same diver.

    1. Luke S (@joeypropane)
      7th May 2019, 14:21

      There is definitely only 2 drivers in modern F1 that have truly been able to extract the most potential out of a car over a full season (not 100% of it 100% of the time, and certainly not ABOVE that potential like some like to say) – Hamilton and Alonso.

      No one else, not since Schumacher, has been such a sure pair of hands when it comes to knowing what level of performance you’ll get.

      1. Completely and totally agree. Both Ham and Alonso are my top rated drivers for getting the best out of any car they are given.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      7th May 2019, 17:16

      @mach1 Exactly. In fact last season Bottas stated the opposite about Hamilton always exctracting the maximum performance:

      “Whatever the conditions are – wind, temperature, wet or dry – he seems to be very adaptable,”

      Also Rosberg usually was relatively closer to Hamilton when the car was a dream to drive. Whenever it was more difficult to handle it would usually be Hamilton who was much faster.

    3. Couldn’t agree more!

    4. Well if it came form Palmer or the Sky commentators we can take as gospel then lol.

  5. I still can’t see Valtteri could beat Lewis over the year but I didn’t see it as a false indicator. Clearly Valtteri is getting closer. I’m sure that the new minimum F1 driver weight rule helps. Rosberg who only one kilo heavier than Lewis go to any length to close the gap while Valtteri was four kilos heavier.

    Other driver that benefited the most by this rule must be Nico Hulkenberg. As the skinniest driver, Perez should lost many advantage but he was lucky to have Stroll as his teammate.

  6. People like to ignore how much depends on luck in F1. Without bad luck, Bottas would have comfortably lead the WDC after four races last year. Who knows how else the rest of the season might have turned out then?

    Let’s see what happens if Hamilton has such bad luck for once.

    1. “Let’s see what happens if Hamilton has such bad luck for once.” – Really? For once? Ham has had his fair share of bad luck in his career so surely you must be joking.

      1. Most part of his career he had the fastest and most reliable car. So no so unlucky i guess ;)

        1. So did the guys next to him in the garage. He had a few and he beat them over their time together. Maybe you should stop talking about luck.

    2. RP (@slotopen)
      7th May 2019, 17:07


      See 2016. Hamilton had a DNF, he raced Rosberg to the end in Abu Dhabi, backing Rosberg into the pack before finally conceding the title as he won the race.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        7th May 2019, 17:29

        @krommenaas and @slotopen

        In 2016, Hamilton could not participate in Q3 in China and Russia due to technical issues. Had to start the race from the back in Spa because he needed to replace a whole lot of broken engine parts. Then and engine blew in Malaysia. Plus some smaller issues in Singapore and Europe.

        Hamilton in fact had a ton of bad luck.

        Not just in 2016 BTW. In 2012 Hamilton had 3 DNF’s from the lead and once from P2.

        1. @f1osaurus – Apologies for replying in a way that probably looks like I’m attacking your points, I’m not trying to. But there is a reason I respond to people when they bring up Hamilton’s bad luck in 2016. It is because it conveniently leaves out every other season and cherry picks one year with issues. Since coming to Mercedes, Hamilton has had 1 worse year than his teammate out of 6. That’s quite good odds.

          2013 – Hamilton had fewer DNFs than ROS
          2014 – Equal DNFs
          2015 – Hamilton had fewer DNFs
          2016 – Hamilton had more DNFs, and other issues
          2017 – Hamilton had fewer DNFs
          2018 – Hamilton had fewer DNFs

          As a single point of comparison, in Vettel’s 6 seasons with RBR, he had 2 years of more DNFs, 2 years of equal DNFs, and 2 years of fewer DNFs. Hamilton has had 1 year, 1 year, and 4 years respectively. He is due a less reliable season every now and then.

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            8th May 2019, 19:39

            @hobo Yes like DNF’s is all that’s all that matters. Don’t be ridiculous.

            Let’s take 2016 where Hamilton had a “very poor start” which supposedly cost him the championship.

            Bahrain: Hamilton gets rammed by Bottas after the start.
            China: Technical issues, starts from P22. Plus car issues during the race.
            Russia: Again technical issues, start from P10.

            So it was clearly technical issues which made his start poor. If the car actuallly worked, Hamilton got pole.

            Then later:
            Spa: Hamilton needs to start from the back because he needs to replace many broken engine parts

            On the other hand, Vettel had zero DNF’s last year, but 7 races where he ruined his own race by crashing, spinning or giving himself penalties

          2. Very well put! Looking the big picture like your facts are showing, this corroborate the fact that Lewis can’t be considered unlucky, and with these facts even the most blind sighted Lewis fan cannot deny that luck was almost all the time on his side.

          3. @f1osaurus – I agree that DNFs are not all that matters. They are an indicator/metric, among others, that can give an indication of the reliability or luck over a season. The two reasons I’ve used them here are 1) ease; it is much more difficult to track issues during practice or qualifying that may influence the outcome of a weekend. But also very importantly, 2) given the advantage that Merc has had during the hybrid era, even starting from dead last will almost always result in a podium or top 5 finish—that is, anything but a DNF is—at a high level—probably not worth mentioning.

            You are STILL only talking about 2016, which was an anomaly for Hamilton at Mercedes. And even then you are only talking about Hamilton’s issues. Why not mention poor starts by Rosberg due to hardware? Why not mention that in Malaysia Rosberg got spun and fell to the bottom of the grid? Again, my point is not that Hamilton sucks or that Rosberg is amazing. My point is simply that pulling out one year as bad luck when nearly every other year at Mercedes has been amazing reliability is disingenuous.

            And I’m not following your point about Vettel. He drove very poorly last year, I agree. You are right that DNFs would not tell his whole story last year. But what it can tell you is that Vettel cannot blame last year on being unlucky compared to his teammate in terms of reliability.

            @mmertens – I would say that based on the data from Mercedes, you are mostly right. Hamilton has had quite reliable (lucky?) hardware for most of the time he’s been with the team. But saying he’s always been lucky would be less true in my opinion. He had 2 or 3 years at McLaren with some horrible reliability (luck).

    3. @krommenaas, I guess it depends on how exactly you weigh up Bottas’s fortune in those four races.

      I would say that his 8th place in Australia wasn’t necessarily a case of “bad luck”, since ultimately it was a consequence of him pushing too hard in qualifying and crashing out – that was an error of judgement, not really of random events outside of the control of the driver.

      Equally, I wouldn’t say that Bahrain was a case of Bottas being unlucky, but rather that of skill on the part of Vettel to stretch his tyres out to the end of the race.

      In China, whilst there is an argument that Bottas was unlucky to lose the win to Ricciardo, on the other hand you could also say that he was lucky in some ways. Whilst he lost out on 7 points and a potential win in China, the collision between Vettel and Verstappen cost Vettel at least 14 points, given that Vettel probably would have finished in at least 2nd place.

      Overall, the net outcome of the race in China actually benefited Bottas – if the race had finished in the order it was in on lap 30, Vettel would have had 68 points in the championship and Bottas would have been on 47, giving Vettel a 21 points lead over Bottas. Instead, with Vettel on 54 points and Bottas on 40, Bottas was actually 7 points closer to Vettel than he would have been otherwise – he arguably ended up better off after China, as it brought Vettel closer to Bottas than he otherwise would have been.

      Baku is probably the only race where I feel you could argue Bottas was very unlucky, although even then his strategy did, in turn, depend on him getting a lucky safety car to put him at the front of the field to begin with. A driver loses about 20 seconds pitting under normal racing conditions in Baku, so Bottas might have just jumped Hamilton if he’d pitted under normal conditions – however, he might have been vulnerable initially given the very slow warm up times of the tyres that year.

      Without the safety car, you wouldn’t have had the restart that resulted in that debris being on the racing line in the first place, and the race would have otherwise finished in a reasonably predictable order. The most probable finishing result would have been Vettel winning with Bottas taking second place, given the net pit loss time would have put Vettel about 7 seconds ahead, plus any time Bottas lost in getting his tyres up to temperature to begin with (tyre degradation rates were negative in Baku in 2018 – in other words, the time loss to wear was less than the gain in performance from fuel burning off – so even a fairly healthy tyre life advantage would have had limited benefit).

      I would therefore argue that, had China and Baku played out as normal races, Bottas’s more likely points total would have been 65 points, with a 7 point gain in China and 18 in Baku. However, when you consider the position of the other drivers also impacted in those races by the same events, the 14 points Vettel probably would have gained in China and the extra 13 in Baku would have put him on 93 points, rather than the 66 points he was on after Baku.

      In that respect, I’m not sure you can say that “Without bad luck, Bottas would have comfortably lead the WDC after four races last year”. I’d say that, since Hamilton would probably have been on 60 points, you could argue Bottas would have been second in the WDC, with a 5 point margin over his team mate, but the points Vettel probably lost in those same races could have put him 28 points clear of Bottas.

    4. “Without bad luck, Bottas would have comfortably lead the WDC after four races last year”

      Only if you ignore Hamilton & Vettel’s bad luck in those 4 races.

  7. Clearly BOT has made a very good start to the ’19 season. He is driving fast and qualifying nicely. There is evidence to suggest that he may be more of a threat to HAM this season than previous campaigns. However… and it’s only my opinion, I only really see BOT beating HAM when he is leading the race for the most part. He seems to have the ability to do only what is needed to stay at the front. I just don’t see him in a scenario where he is able to pass HAM too many times in a season. He was clearly more aggressive last time out in the opening lap or 2 but I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that he has that “killer” instinct like HAM. If HAM is allowed to he will hunt you down to the bitter end. I just don’t see that same instinct in BOT. This is not a derogatory statement against BOT. You have to keep in mind that HAM is, in my opinion (and I am not a big fan), the best darn driver in the current field and has been for some time. Racing, qualifying, leading, chasing. He has more chops than anyone else at this point in time. Mentally? I don’t know. Who am I to judge.

  8. it would be an interesting stat if Bottas was to become wdc.
    as far as i can make out,
    Fangio 51,
    Hulme 67,
    Prost 85,
    Senna 88 and
    Rosberg 16 are the only examples of a WDCs Teammate becoming WDC.
    (i disregarded Hill 68 as Clark only competed in the opening round and Prost in 89 as both he and Senna were WDCs by that point)
    – would be interesting if it were to happen to Hamilton twice.
    of course Seb is also in with a shot of joining in

    1. Seb will leave before he concedes that statistic, history proves he runs when he’s been outclassed by a teammate.

  9. There was already a consistent trend of hybrid V6 era Hamilton were stronger on race tracks after summer break. I believe it could be “Hamilton season” this year again.

  10. Bottas won 2 GP’s overtaking just one driver at the start.
    He did it on merit…but it didn’t take much racing…just a good lap in Q3 and a good start… the rest was Mercedes power.

    Once other teams are in the mix to fight for podiums I don;t see Bottas floating above… fast driver, but not the best racer.
    Max’ reaction on Dan winning the ‘Overtake Of The Year Award’… (Dan overtook Bottas in China by braking late into the corner) “an overtake on Bottas doesn’t count, Bottas doesn’t know how to defend anyways”.

    1. Well , if you put it that way, most of Schumacher wins were the same as that, interesting isn’t it?

  11. RP (@slotopen)
    7th May 2019, 17:24

    I hope we have a great season with close racing, and Bottas does well. But he has not consistently challenged Hamilton. If you grant him the two nearly wins from last season he averages about three a season with Mercedes. He needs to double that to contend for the title, and triple that to win if Hamilton doesn’t have a DNF.

    Doubling or tripling his performance would be renarkable. It doesn’t seem likely.

  12. He’s close, but all it takes for the ‘just-want-to-be-liked’ Bottas is for Hamilton to start a some drama or a cold front (which he will if he’s behind) and he will likely crumble.

    All the years of being perfect team player might have landed him this drive, but he hasn’t been practicing rivalry and it will cost him. He might need another 2 years to get his balls firmed up, but he only got one more after this.

    It helps Lauda is not there though.

    1. I hope Hamilton doesn’t for the sake of the team. But You and I can’t expect him to be buddies with the guy beating him. I also hope Bottas doesn’t let it get to him. He is here to become a champion not to be friends with his competition.

  13. It’s good to see the pressure on Ham is rising. He already found the need for some verbal powerplay.
    “next time i will….”
    And Barcelona is next ;)

    1. Yes, absolutely massive pressure, he sounds terrified.

  14. Until now Hamilton has had his sights trained on the Ferrari garage and at the same time has (probably) slightly underestimated his teammate. However if Hamilton starts to feel that the bigger threat is coming from within then I would fully expect him to tun up the heat.

  15. Let’s hope he remains competitive, otherwise we’re in for a pretty boring season despite what Toto says.

  16. At least one Ferrari will mix in to the title battle ergo more sustained BOT 2.0 – which seems likely but remains moot whether it’s enough to challenge HAM or not – would spice up the scene.

  17. NeverElectric
    8th May 2019, 20:21

    Interesting choice of words for the headline – Bottas beating Hamilton would apparently be a “dawn”, and if he fails to do so then his early season form would have been a “false dawn”.
    A “False dawn” is a “promising situation which comes to nothing” – why should it be ‘promising’ if Hamilton looks like he might lose? Why is it a “dawn” if Hamilton does eventually lose? Why is it a good thing if Hamilton fails to beat Bottas? Is this one of those subliminal Freudian choices of verbiage that betray the writer’s deeper personal feelings – in this case, a sense of glee at the prospect of Hamilton losing?

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