Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Monaco, 2018

Bottas hoping to have a “good car” for the first time in Monaco

2019 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Valtteri Bottas says he hopes this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix will be the first where he has a car he feels fully comfortable with.

“Across my whole career, I’ve never had a good car in Monaco,” said Bottas. “It’s such a unique track, you need a really special car in terms of how it works mechanically, in Monaco with all the warps and bumps and everything.”

Bottas said Mercedes’ performance in the slow corners at the Circuit de Catalunya gives them confidence they will be more competitive in a race they last won in 2016.

“It’s a question mark how we’re going to perform there. But from Barcelona, in sector three with slow corners, it’s promising.

“But you never know, there’s many different things that affect it there, getting tyres to work and everything but I would just hope that we have a good car there because it would be such a unique race to be fighting for the win or winning it.

“I’ve actually never been on the podium there so it’s something I really look forward to and something I will definitely focus one hundred percent of the weekend on the goal of finding performance and being absolutely on it in qualifying three, like [in Spain].”

Bottas’ team mate Lewis Hamilton said the team’s tendency to produce cars with longer wheelbases previously disadvantaged them in Monaco.

“I think with the longer car it always makes it a little bit trickier for us,” said Hamilton. “We still have the longest car [on] the tightest of circuits. We’ve had a couple of dodgy years there.

“One year the car was completely terrible. Valtteri luckily managed to score quite high but the car was very, very hard to drive.”

Hamilton is hopeful of adding to his two Monaco Grand Prix wins this weekend. “I think we now understand where to put the car and understand our tyres a bit better so I think we should be stronger this year.

“It’s a race that I’ve not really won much and I struggle with that each year. I’m quick there, but it’s very hit and miss so I’m really hoping this year’s on target because it’s a great track to win at.”

Additional reporting by Hazel Southwell.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

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
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

54 comments on “Bottas hoping to have a “good car” for the first time in Monaco”

  1. Oh give over. Can’t stand these negative comments from Mercedes drivers about their ‘rubbish’ cars. Hamilton says the car was ‘completely terrible’. Bottas says it was ‘not a good’ car. Gimme a break. Try asking Sirotkin / Stroll / Chilton / Haryanto how it felt.

    1. Obviously it’s all relative. I could jump in a F4 car and be blown away by its speed compared to my Seat Ibiza, but surely everyone can see that a F4 is “rubbish” compared to faster cars.

      Dont forget, this is a car that Hamilton only qualified 14th in at Monaco 2017. Whilst both McLarens got through to Q3. Definitely qualifies as not a good car in my books!

      1. I was in the stands near where the article photo is looking at in 2017. Hamilton only qualified 14th because on his fast lap, Vandoorne stuffed his car into the wall and everyone on a fast lap got screwed.

        Saying that the Mercs that year were noticeably slower through the end of the swimming pool than most other cars that year too.

    2. They’re obviously talking in context of winning the race.

      Sirotkin / Stroll / Chilton / Haryanto were obviously never in contention for that.

    3. What I can’t stand is armchair racers who think they know better than a 5 time world champion.

      Considering both Lewis and Valterri have been comprehensively stomped in the last two years at Monaco, and Hamilton only won in 2016 due to Red Bull’s colossal blunder (and Hamilton skipping the intermediates), it’s probably a justifiable concern showing up at Monaco with the longest car on the grid.

      There are so many *real* issues to complain about in F1, the fact that you’re personally offended by two drivers giving their honest opinion is frankly, totally meaningless.

      1. What I can’t stand is armchair racers who think they know better than a 5 time world champion.

        Considering both Lewis and Valterri have been comprehensively stomped in the last two years at Monaco, and Hamilton only won in 2016 due to Red Bull’s colossal blunder (and Hamilton skipping the intermediates), it’s probably a justifiable concern showing up at Monaco with the longest car on the grid.

        There are so many *real* issues to complain about in F1, the fact that you’re personally offended by two drivers giving their honest opinion is frankly, totally meaningless.

        Extremely well said. Personally I think the whinging on the internet is killing F1 quicker than obstructive aero.

  2. Weather forecast for Saturday noon in Monaco shows chance of rain. In case it rains then Mercs and RBR will be the cars to beat for qualifying session. And it will certainly seperate boys from men for all postions below P4(P3 if Gasly messes up)

    1. P3 if Gasly messes up

      Ahem. Max. Monaco walls.

      1. This year Max seems to be driving with a lot more maturity and hopefully he will keep his head cool and not take too many chances.

        1. I agree, Monaco is tricky though and Max is likely to push, let’s hope he qualifies high up for the race’s sake. Same applies to Leclerc (after Baku).

  3. As a gesture to Niki, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Mercedes on pole and the top step this weekend.

    1. @phylyp

      Or a Ferrari?

      Regardless, I hope whatever tributes are giving they are fitting and dignified.

      1. @slotopen – my bad. You’re right, a Ferrari would be a far more fitting tribute to his career.

        I’ve not been a big fan of the Monaco GP in general, but to see Niki honoured at this venue just feels… right. It’s a very historical venue, and no better place to wish farewell to him.

        1. @phylyp McLaren win would be colossal since his last WDC was on McLaren. Or Red Bull, Austrian team for Austrian best. But I prefer Alfa Romeo, just because he won his then wife’s heart on that car (at least in Rush movie).

          1. @ruliemaulana – nice connections there :) So that covers half the grid, and definitely covers all 3 teams with a very high chance of winning this Sunday :)

      2. Better yet, a Ferrari with the airbox painted white and a couple of extra stripes. That would be an amazing gesture.

  4. In my country we have a saying: “Widows are crying, so do married women”.
    It fits completely when I see these two complaining about their cars.
    Totally annoying and outrageous. If we add to the equation the “We still have to catch Ferrari” or similar bs said like a trillion times by Wolff, it gets even more disgusting.

    1. You know what’s more annoying? All the whinging fans taking quotes out of context or as in this case, plainly not understanding the article whilst simultaneously and unwittingly heaping praise on the same team for doing too good a job.

      The team hasnt won here in two years and Bottas has never won here. They are addressing that and saying they hope to change it. It’s not rocket science.

      1. considering the complexity of these cars and getting them to work in a very narrow band, yes then , it could well be the equivalent of rocket science, rockets have one job, push a pod into space with as much grunt as possible and no technical restrictions, and they’ve been doing it since the 40’s so maybe we should rethink that term ?

        :)

        1. Actually , it was in the year 1100 AD that rockets were first used, So when my kids now say “I cant do it Dad” ill retort “C’mon — its not F1” :)

        2. Understanding an article and reading the words is not rocket science.

          Ironically what you’ve also failed to to with my original post.

          1. @RB13

            “Understanding an article and reading the words is not rocket science” you are correct sir,

            “Ironically what you’ve also failed to to with my original post” , you are correct again, all I read was “haven’t won it in 2 years and rocket Science” and i was off on a coffee fueled google search at 1 am when i should been asleep :)

        3. The trick with rockets is not getting them to go up.

          The trick is getting your payload to the target within a few meters after travelling millions of km’s between two bodies traveling at vastly different speeds.

          1. @ gret

            that’s a very cool marriage euphemism

      2. RB13 I think you need to relax, Merc are totally dominate this yr. @ioannisk is right, the Silver Arrows have been playing the under dog from the start. Five grid lock outs five wins out of five, the time for BS is over. They will win both the WDC & WCC this yr.
        The chances of Merc 1, 2 at Monaco is very high.

        1. Only 4 lockouts, Bahrain it was a ferrari who had front row but reliability and driver messed it up.

          1. Chaitanya Woops OK.

          2. Don’t bother with facts. We live in a fact-free society these days, and it’s cool to be the disbeliever.

          3. Exactly, 4. Mercs were comprehensively beaten on pace in Bahrain and were on the way to the same in Baku till their faster driver out it in the wall.

            Shame people like John constantly twist the facts to suit a narrative. Have zero time for their whining.

    2. @ioannisk All countries have useful sayings, “making a mountain out of a molehill” is another. ‘Outrageous’ and ‘disgusting’ aren’t really adequate terms to be used for a driver saying “I’ve never had a good car here” or, even less, that it’s “a little bit trickier.” Unless you’re far too easily scandalized by trivia, and indifferent to actual outrage.

      1. And what’s the highest place Bottas has ever scored in Monaco?

        Let’s see: 12th, Retired, 14th, 12th, 4th, 5th.

        Yeah, he’s obviously had the most dominant car every year of his career at Monaco.

        1. I’m responding to the original post and agreeing with you, apparently.

      2. @david-br Come on man. Open your mind a little bit and look at the big picture. What Russell and Kubica have to say about this and their cars? What Alonso has felt throughout his entire McLaren career? What Vettel has to say about the major up and downs of Ferrari? How about Verstappen at first and then drivers like Ricciardo and Perez for instance, who in a competitive car could be major championship contenters? They have every right to be complaining. When you have the best car overall for 5 consecutive years, 3 for Bottas including the current one, and your car works well and suits to 20 tracks, with the questionable exception of Monaco, I REALLY DON’T CARE what you are saying and complaining about. They have the right to say what they think, but when it comes to “car problems”, I consider it as an insult to others.

        1. @ioannisk I was talking about the disproportion between Hamilton saying “it’s a bit trickier for us” (with a long wheel base) and you saying it was outrageous and disgusting (!) You’re overblowing their comments massively. Sure the endless stuff about whether or not they’re ahead or behind Ferrari is tiresome and relatively (compared to down the field) any complaint must grate. But in this case, Monaco, their comments do actually hold some water: Mercedes have underperformed there (relatively) but this year may be different. Bottas’s comments were more extreme. But I just took that to mean he’s looking to be positive about everything this year as part of his new title challenger mindset. And if you read it a certain way, actually he’s acknowledging that he didn’t always have a leading car. You seem to be blaming Mercedes and drivers for still being so successful when other teams have had plenty of time – and some of them plenty of resources (including their engine suppliers) – to catch up.

          1. @david-br well said.

            And @ioannisk I reiterate again, if drivers are asked a question they will answer it. If Hamilton, Bottas and Toto simply shut up for the rest of the season and didn’t say another word people like you would be crying about how ‘disgusting’ it is that they think they are too good to talk to the press?! Just stop whinging or don’t read the articles if you have such an issue with questions being answered!

          2. @david-br Oh boy, there must be an understanding problem on your side. For the most things, if not every single one, that you mention now, I already answered in advance on my reply to you. Check again my message. As I said earlier, personally I am always looking at the forest, the general picture, not the tree, the detail. And Sir sly, do not take and isolate words out of the text, only what suits to you, to prove a point. It was not the first time that either Bottas or Hamilton complained about something with their car. We have also seen several times Wolff saying what I wrote on my initial post. All of these combined together become “annoying, outrageous and disgusting”. THE BIG PICTURE. Not the cunning way you put it.

            “You seem to be blaming Mercedes and drivers for still being so successful”…
            Ok, I give up and I need a beer. Ghosts do exist and that kid on “Sixth Sense” really saw dead people. There is no other logical explanation.

  5. Is Bottas turning into the top F1 moaner?

    Or was he always like this?

    – vote – view results

    1. You seem to forget Toto according to whom Ferraris are the benchmark.

    2. Bottas, Wolff and Hamilton will ALWAYS be out-moaned by the fans who feel that every interview question answered by a Mercedes team member is a personal insult.

      1. grat, Yup. Nail on the head.

  6. C’mon people, this isn’t Mercedes doing their usual “We’re doomed, Ferrari will annihilate us”. It is pretty factual. In the last 3 years, they’ve lucked into 1 win. Prior to that, Bottas was in a low-downforce Williams. And Mercedes are honest and cautiously optimistic after having seen their performance in the final sector in Spain.

    1. Max’ year i think,

      1. @greg-c – I would like that. A win for Honda. A(nother) wake-up call for Ferrari.

        1. @Phylyp

          I’m so sure of it im going to put $100 on it right now , !

          well maybe a 20$ :)

    2. @phylyp Too right. I think a lot of people just type on autopilot without reading and thinking about what’s being said. It should just be a question of factual interest for real F1 fans that car designs involve compromises on some circuits, and this is – or has been – a Mercedes one. Should be interesting for Red Bull/Honda definitely if their young drivers can keep focus.

      1. @david-br

        for real F1 fans

        One of the most arrogant ill informed statements possible.

        1. @johnrkh It really is the day for people losing control of their adjectives apparently.

        2. Oh I get it now, so you agreed with @ioannisk above, didn’t like the fact I admonished him about the ridiculous use of language, but had no answer to that, so dug for something to throw at me here! Come on, it’s a bit low grade.

    3. @phylyp) I posted before that this was RBs best chance of a win. But the odds are against them. So far Verstappen has not shown himself to be happy at this circuit. And the Mercs are running hot at the moment.

      1. @johnrkh – yeah, fair point about Max’s troubles on this track. Let’s hope that unlike in the past, he doesn’t overdrive under pressure from his teammate.

    4. Facts are irrelevant! MERCEDES LIES!! TOTO LIES!!! IT’S ALL LIES!!!!

      Sheesh. Buncha seriously over-triggered whiners around here. :)

  7. Robert McKay
    21st May 2019, 20:54

    Bottas had a good car in Monaco last season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.