Bottas doesn’t want a less challenging team mate than Hamilton

2019 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas says he wouldn’t want a less competitive team mate than Lewis Hamilton, despite being on the verge of losing the championship to his fellow Mercedes driver for the third season in a row.

“I wouldn’t change the situation and I wouldn’t ever want to change the team mate just because it would be easier to win races, no way” said Bottas ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix. “I like a challenge and for sure it’s not always easy. But nothing’s easy and when it comes the hard way, it feels better.”

Bottas needs to win the remaining three races with Hamilton scoring less than four points in order to stop his team mate taking the title. While that will be a tall order, he is on course for a best-ever championship finishing position of second. But he is convinced he can do better.

“I’m definitely thankful and feel good and proud to be part of this team, to be able to drive the car that has allowed me to produce the results that I’ve got so far and will, for sure, in the future, [allow] for a great result,” he said.

“I like the fact that it’s up to me. At the moment, we’re a winning team and able to be also in the future. If I can perform on the level I’m aiming at then anything is possible. So I wouldn’t change the situation.”

While Bottas has equalled Hamilton’s tally of pole positions this year, he has taken just three wins to his team mate’s 10. He said Hamilton’s advantage lies chiefly in “BOT: tyre management and driving style” during a race.

“You need to drive the car at certain circumstances and situations and strategies,” Bottas explained. “Being able to maximise the tyre life in an efficient way, that has normally given him an edge over some competitors in some races.”

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2019 F1 season

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10 comments on “Bottas doesn’t want a less challenging team mate than Hamilton”

  1. I agree with him. What is the point. I imagine all drivers come to F1 to be the best.

    Hamilton is the best of this generation second best of all time. If you want to be the best, he you have to beat. If he cannot do this then to bad.

    1. hmm..Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Senna, Prost, Schumacher. Im guessing Senna. Its a shame we ‘premier league’ f1

      1. @ Tony, dont get causght up, the best is subjective, you can have a different opinion.

        Personally I feel Schumacher should have 2 seasons chalked off due to his dirty play. I think Hamilton is comfortably regarded higher than prost and stewart also.
        Senna we will never know. Clark subjective indeed given his exploits in other driving categories also.

        Fangio… boi thats bloody hard he was spectacular. His stats speak for themself.

        1. Im not I never would but thankyou for telling me what I should or shouldn’t do !. I put all of those guys in a group marked, the best. Putting them in order is a fools errand. You are kind of doing that…. This is higher than that one and so on.

          1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
            1st November 2019, 16:51

            Obviously times were very different back then – but Fangio won his five titles with four different teams (Alfa, 2xMercedes, Ferrari and Maserati). Nobody else has taken championship titles with more than two teams.

            Jack Brabham deserves to be in “the best” group as well in my opinion – he took three world championship titles, two with Cooper in 1959-60 and one more title with his own Brabham team in 1967.

            I’ve sometimes wondered if Hamilton might want to switch to Ferrari to try and land one title with a third team.

  2. In isolation what Bottas is saying is great. All top drivers should welcome a challenge and as fans, we should want the best fighting the best. However, because Mercedes is obviously going to keep Hamilton at all costs, the only way Bottas retains a seat is alongside Hamilton. So, this rings a little hollow even if Bottas is being 100% earnest.

    It would be one thing to hear this from a Hamilton, Vettel, or Verstappen as they are the actual #1 drivers on their respective teams. But we don’t, unsurprisingly.

  3. It would be very interesting to see right now how Bottas would perform in a number one seat.
    I personally am convinced that Mercedes themselves have knocked a lot of the fight out of him with their orders and manipulations. Destroying both his self confidence and his will to fight.

    I like you Valtteri, you come across as a decent dude – but I think you have been, and are still being, used.

    1. I personally am convinced that Mercedes themselves have knocked a lot of the fight out of him with their orders and manipulations.

      Total rubbish. He has only been called to assist in any way when he has been out of contention for the championship and even then, look at Hungary 2017 where Hamilton was behind Vettel in the championship and STILL yielded the place back.

      Singapore 2019 is another ridiculous example people cling to, he was pitted early to protect losing out to Albon, he was kept ahead but not given an advantage as it should be. He was then repaid (even though there was no need to as the team saved his position at Sing) in Japan at the expense of a team 1-2.

      So yeh, total rubbish. @nullapax

      1. @RB13 – I think I fall somewhere between the two of you. Bottas is clearly the number 2 driver. The 2019 Singapore example shows that. Hamilton is under no real threat this season, and yet they used Bottas to protect Hamilton. That wouldn’t have happened with HAM-ROS, because they were allowed to race each other through the entire season.

        Hungary 2017 is an example of Hamilton keeping the team clean in Bottas’ first season. Yes, it was a fair move by Hamilton but one that played into his own strategy as well. Hamilton knew Bottas was not a threat, so giving up a few points in Hungary ensured that Bottas would do the same down the road if Hamilton needed. If Hamilton thought that those few points would come to bite him, he would not have been so sporting. That is not a dig on Hamilton, but we know that to be true based on a prior race at the same track with Rosberg.

        However, I do not think that Mercedes have destroyed Bottas (@nullapax). If he was a star driver, he has had the car to show that for three years now. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

        1. @hobo fair comments.

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