Bottas starting his off-season with ‘low-risk no-pressure’ rally

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says he’s competing in a rally event in France this weekend to enjoy racing without the pressure of F1.

What they say

Bottas headed to Paul Ricard, where the rally is being held, after celebrating Mercedes’ latest successful season with team mate Lewis Hamilton and sponsors Petronas.

I wanted to get comfortable with the car. I’m going to be doing the rally. So it’s the old-spec WRC.

Our season is finished on Sunday evening so I thought it would be nice to have some fun, race without any pressure.

I enjoy rallying, I find it lots of fun. And it’s on Tarmac as well and part of it’s on the track so it could be pretty suitable for me. And I see it as a rally as also with quite low-risk in terms of the safety and everything.

So it seems like a nice event. So should be good fun and a good way to start the holidays.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Don’t underestimate the quality of Bottas’s performance this year, says RP:

I think this was a great season for Bottas. Assuming the two nearly victories last season, his average was two/season. This year he took four. Two-times better is a massive improvement.

I only attribute about one of those victories to an improvement in Mercedes form. Maybe even that is too many.
Bottas seems to have taken at least one from Hamilton.

The pole tally is worrying for Hamilton. I’m skeptical Bottas got much faster. Has time caught up with the best qualifier in F1?

It was an amazing season for Hamilton. It seems like he has been battling from second all season. I don’t remember another driver fighting so hard for victories all season, yet making few mistakes. Although Hamilton did make two mistakes this year, they didn’t hurt much.

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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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  • 8 comments on “Bottas starting his off-season with ‘low-risk no-pressure’ rally”

    1. Regarding On this day; did the police ever find the trophies back?

      1. @nmgn – some of them were found in a lake after being dumped there by the thieves, as I recall. Also, many of those stolen were replicas, not the actual trophies themselves.

    2. Those ricciardo helmet swap pictures are great. It could be one hell of an archive once he’s finished doing it. It’s the kind of thing that would have formed a very expensive coffee table book in a previous life.

    3. I share the same views with the COTD.

      BTW, the car in the Mercedes Instagram-post is W08.

    4. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th December 2019, 9:36

      I also agree with COTD.

      The interesting thing is that in the 2nd half of the season, I think Hamilton and Bottas have been pretty close to equal results wise. But Bottas has had bad luck in the last two weekends. By the time the race in the USA had gone by, Hamilton had only scored 2 more points since the summer break than Bottas. If Bottas didn’t have to retire in Brazil, he likely will have got 4th. His race seemed to be judged by the position he was in before his engine was about to give way which I don’t think will have helped with his overtaking. I also don’t know why Mercedes pitted him as he was on the hardest tyre and pitting him brought him out right behind Leclerc. Poor strategy by Mercedes here.

      The other safety cars basically happened because of the field being bunched up because of the first one. So if Bottas didn’t retire, I don’t think the Ferrari’s will have crashed, nor will hamilton have made his mistake at the end.

      The results then would have been Hamilton getting 18 points, and Bottas getting 12. Still only 8 more since the summer break.

      The final race, It will have been a guaranteed 2nd or possible win had he had a better start than hamilton, and if Bottas was pushing hard behind him (his pace did look good this weekend) I’m not as sure Hamilton will have had enough in his tyres to set fastest lap. Hamilton will have then got another 7 points. But still, just getting 15 more points than Bottas in this part of the season is very impressive on Bottas’s side. Especially given he’d also scored more over the first 4 races.

      The problem is that he had enough races that were simply not as good that the gap in the end was still very big. But given just how good Hamilton is, I don’t think those races Bottas has always been quite as bad as he looks. Germany was a big mistake, but we should factor in how bad Hamilton also was and the fact that many other drivers spun into he wall and retired.

      If Bottas can work on his off weekends, then I think he could be far closer to Hamilton than he has been. I don’t think Hamilton can get better than he is. If anything, at some point he may start going downhill just a bit. I don’t think you can have such a strong peak he is having forever at his age. And if Botats improves again a little like he did this season, he actually could have a slim chance of beating Hamilton, especially if reliability comes into play. This could only happen if all these things i mention happened to take place I think. But it certainly isn’t impossible.

      1. The greatest chance Bottas has is a helping hand from Toto…
        It would be great for Mercedes to win a seventh championship in a row with the third different driver, wouldn’t it?

      2. Hamilton had an absolutely amazing season this year, bringing home points in every single race. How many times has that happened to any driver in history? The most mind-boggling to me is that only four times did he not set foot on the podium. Hamilton is superbly consistent, but undeniably a huge part of that also comes down to the reliability (as well as the pace) of the Mercedes car and team.

        Bottas had two retirements (one crash and one car failure). But still he reached the podium on all but six occasions total, meaning he was just that one reliability issue and one single mistake (crash) away from equaling Hamilton in that regard. Anyone who says Bottas does not have it in him to become champion have simply not looked close enough at the guy!

        1. Well, Bottas would have done this in 2017 like hamilton. Spain was the only race Bottas finished out of the points and was down to his engine blowing up. 2018, they both would have done it too. Neither driver made a race ending mistake, but both retired in Austria and Baku for Bottas too.

          And to be honest it was good luck that got hamilton points in every race this year. He finished germany outside of the points and only got back in due to a penalty for Alfa Romeo.

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