Bottas: Points gap to Hamilton not insurmountable

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says his points deficit to championship leader Lewis Hamilton is “not night and day”.

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What they say

Bottas was asked whether he feels he is in a stronger position at this point in the championship than in previous seasons:

It’s definitely a better feeling to be at the end of the year going forwards and also feel very good support from the team. The points gap between me and Lewis, for sure it’s a gap, but it’s not like night and day. You never know what happens in the championship.

There still might be opportunities even for the championship. There’s no point giving up because we have seven races and things can happen. So take it race by race. For sure it’s encouraging for me to see I can perform and there’s no doubt from my side I can.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Formula E launch, 2019
Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Formula E launch, 2019

Mercedes officially presented its first Formula E car yesterday. The Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 will contest the 2019-20 Formula E season. As expected, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries will drive.

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Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

@Phylyp is not impressed by Nick Fry’s argument for Michael Schumacher’s family to share more details of his treatment:

Of course the techniques and therapies tried there will be applied to others if successful. That is what doctors do – they publish peer-reviewed papers in medical journals, taking suitable care to respect the privacy of the individual so that the focus is on the medical case, and the practitioners’ approach to it. They work on building up that body of knowledge of what worked and what didn’t. Other practitioners pick up on it, they cross-consult, refer patients to specific doctors or institutes. They have a system that works.

The family does not need to put that information out for Joe Public to read, and for the media (specifically, rags) to report on it in a tawdry manner, or for dodgy medical websites to start spewing nonsense on the back of that.

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Author information

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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42 comments on “Bottas: Points gap to Hamilton not insurmountable”

  1. That is a very good COTD.

    1. Thank you @aussierod, and thank you Keith for picking this one as the CotD.

        1. (@phylyp) Great COTD!

          1. I agree and websites like this should not even be linking or writing stories about Michael.

      1. Congrats mate, @phylyp.

        Glad that a regular contributor with both depth and whit gets the CotD.
        You’re one of the declining number of contributors who seems to love the sport rather than a particular driver.

    2. Very well said @phylyp. His injuries are a private matter and if the family want to keep them private we all have to respect that. All we can do as fans of the sport is pray he makes a full recovery.

      Keep fighting Michael.

    3. Spot on @phylyp. While personal privacy maybe obsolete on the internet, it still matters.

  2. Considering Hamilton is not akeen to making mistaked that point gap is massive for Bottas to close and except for Russia and Abu Dhabi remaining all races are at tracks where Hamilton will make a difference rather than car.

    1. All we need is Hamilton and Ferrari driver to make contact a few times on the outside of chicanes. What happend in Monza like Lewis said, could have been a crash if he had not backed off.

      Lewis does however back off, thus he is vulnerable on individual races against Verstappen and Leclerc, overall though he scores those points very reliably. Cannot remember when Lewis actually crashed last time in wheel to wheel racing?

      With Nico he was banging wheels all the time, but that was reasonable from a championship perspective if they both crash no problem. What he must not do is crash with Ferrari or RedBull and championship is his. Frankly Bottas is in no form to threaten the championship.

      1. I think ones the Championship is won, we might see Lewis not giving a rodents rear about backing out of fight with on track rivals. Last year at Bahrain and China we saw Lewis banging wheels with Verstappen and it was early in season so he was much bolder in his defense. Also in early V6 hybrid days Mercs were in a class of their own so it much straight forward fight between two teammates.

  3. For sure, Bottas, for sure ;)

    1. Phylyp … he is right, the gap is not insurmountable lol, but he had better keep looking in his mirrors, Max and Charles are closer to him in the championship than he is to Lewis …. without mechanical issues playing a part he has to out score Lewis by an average of 9 points in each remaining race to win the WDC …. that’s a tall order on current form.

    2. @phylyp Wolff criticized Bottas for rather than have a go at Leclerc just stay ahead of Lewis. Wolff has no intent of letting Bottas win, even if luck abandons Hamilton. Silverstone proved beyond doubt that Bottas is a number 2, no conceivable reason for that early of a 1st pitstop, foolish Bottas. Behave and you’ll get another 1 year renovation, and be thankful. Not quick enough anyway, if you ignore qualifying.

  4. Germany didn’t help his cause..

    1. yeah, in hindsight that has a bit of a webber-in-korea-2010 feeling about it. although, bottas was already well on the back foot in the title race, whereas webber was basically in the hot seat if he’d got a podium that day. true champions take their chances (e.g. villeneuve in 1997, when it really counted he stepped up and delivered what he needed for the title).

  5. Bottas will have a lot more pressure on him next yr. His job as wingman to Hamilton will be very important with Leclerc in a (hopefully) more rounded Ferrari and a more grounded Vettel.
    RB will likely be up there as well and with a bit of luck McLaren and Renault will be sniffing around to pick up the pieces if things go astray for the leaders.

    1. @johnrkh all the stuff you just said has been “coming” for years now. Mercedes are the best team and Hamilton one of the most consistant and quickest drivers, they won’t be beat until 2021 at the earliest.

  6. roberto giacometti
    12th September 2019, 6:35

    Someone please tell him he is dreaming !!!
    Who is going to catch lewis now, him ??
    Yeah right
    Wing Man he is!!
    We wouldn’t want to have lewis starting to cry now.

    1. What a silly comment.

      What’s he supposed to say, “I’ll never be champion unless Lewis breaks a leg or two?”

      It’s PR, bottas knows it, and MOST of us fans know it…

      I won’t comment on your obvious troll last sentence, as it was provocative OR funny. Try harder.

    2. Quite right. Bottas is #2.

  7. Great COTD @phylyp, and a very good choice of one too.

    While it reads a little bit delusional to think that Hamilton will suddenly hit a wall of mistakes and/or misfortune, I do have to agree with Bottas here.

    There simply is no point to him giving up on the fight, and both his standing and morale will be boosted by making it his best season yet.

    Moreover, as long as he keeps up his end, the team has no reason to go to team orders to help Hamilton secure his title, as Bottas will be the closest challenger, ensuring both the WCC and the WDC are solidly in the teams hands, which makes it a similar situation to the 2014—2016 seasons.

    I sure hope he can add a win or two at the least, to eat into the gap, Sochi being a prime candidate. Maybe finish better in Mexico, where they usually struggle. Odds are on Hamilton, but go for it please!

    1. There simply is no point to him giving up on the fight, and both his standing and morale will be boosted by making it his best season yet.
      Moreover, as long as he keeps up his end, the team has no reason to go to team orders to help Hamilton secure his title, as Bottas will be the closest challenger, ensuring both the WCC and the WDC are solidly in the teams hands, which makes it a similar situation to the 2014—2016 seasons.

      Good points there, @bosyber

  8. I knew Bottas was a nice guy, but that he is also a comedian?!)

  9. …& then he woke up! :-)

  10. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    12th September 2019, 7:25

    Some people are getting carried away with what they are implying Bottas said. The page title isn’t exactly what he said either.

    What Bottas could mean by opportunities could well be the fact that Hamilton could potentially have some very bad luck. That is not impossible now. If Hamilton had a couple of retirements with Bottas winning, then being in contention for the championship would not be unrealistic either if Bottas manages to keep up being taking points off Hamilton. Very unlikely, but not impossible.

    1. @thegianthogweed It’s just cute to see how you defend Bottas.

      1. I am saying these things are all very unlikely, but not impossible. It is hardly a really strong defence. I’m just mentioning that it isn’t exactly impossible. The people that I think are unreasonable are ones that seem to read it totally different to how it is written.

  11. Regarding the move from Nyck de Vries to FE: this might be the first (?) season that no-one graduates from Formula 2 (or GP2) to Formula 1. Not sure if it will happen and not sure if it will be the first season if it does.

    1. For sure Latifi.

      And don’t forget that they graduated 3 hugely talented guys last year. Not surprising that the pool is a bit shallower this year, and only money can get you the coveted promotion.

    2. At some point that had to happen.

      There’s not all that many current drivers looking to retire/leave and this year there were a lot of new drivers so there’s just not the opportunities likely for 2020. It happens from time to time, this is just one of those times.

  12. Yes, the points-gap isn’t insurmountable, but very difficult to claw back, though. A gap of 63-points against Lewis Hamilton isn’t very realistic to entirely claw back in seven races unless he were to suffer a massive amount of points-losses, which isn’t going to happen if he finishes all of them without sustaining any damage, puncture, or other problem during any of the remaining races, as those are the only ways (DNF excluded) he would finish either in the lower top-ten or entirely out of the points.

    I share the same views with the COTD.

    1. @jerejj – This.

      Looking at the past 5 seasons (2014-2018) and using a very conservative methodology, from Spa to the end of the year, Hamilton has only lost points to his rival once—in 2016. Every other year Hamilton has increased the points gap after the summer break. Sometimes by few points (2 in 2015) and sometimes by a lot (63 in 2018).

      As we are now at the second race after Spa, and Hamilton and Bottas are in the same relative points position as before Spa (both have a 2nd and a 3rd), there is less time to make up the points difference. Somewhat oddly, from Spa+2 through the end of the season, Hamilton has lost points to his rival twice, 2016 and 2015. Regardless, no matter how you look at it, Hamilton does not give up enough points at the end of a season for Bottas to catch up without catastrophic issues at multiple races.

      A Bottas win with Hamilton DNF would still require Bottas to finish ahead at dominant rate for the remainder of the season. As he has only finished ahead of Hamilton 4x so far this season, it seems unlikely. If anything, Bottas should push to better his own performances, push to find ways to get more out of the car and himself, but for next season. Use the remaining 7 races as his own personal winter break, but with time in the car as well.

      1. You guys are weighing the future potential of Hamilton losing points rather poorly… anything is possible. Lewis could be in a place crash this afternoon,yet here you are saying it’s not possible…

        It’s possible, and his points gap to Lewis isn’t so huge leclerc would swoop on that opportunity.

        SOOOO MANY over simplicitied comments on this topic… it’s sad that people lack the capability to think things thru…. will bottas beat Lewis to the championship by outscoring him in the races? Probably not… but that’s not the only way chanpionships have ever been won….

        Same with COTD, someone makes such an asinine comment, that the guy setting him straight gets cotd? Again, sad.

  13. I wonder what VB is smoking I’d sure like some of it!

    That article from Benson was absolutely pointless!

  14. Aaaaaaaahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!

  15. Loved this bit about the Ferrari celebrations;

    “And Sebastian Vettel was also there, by telephone link.”

    The honeymoon is most definitely over.

    1. Indeed @squeakywheel, that really could have done with having been left out, couldn’t it!

  16. @keithcollantine I think the BBC story about alonso is an aberration – it’s already 5 days old and I think i saw it in a previous round up.

  17. Bottas has a great chance to win the title if Hamilton has 3 x DNFs.

  18. @bernasaurus @ltdslipdiff @bosyber @geemac Ericglo @coldfly – thank you all, very kind of you.

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