Luca Badoer, Ferrari, Autodromo do Algarve, 2008

Bottas using own simulator to prepare for Algarve return

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says is looking forward to racing at the Autodromo do Algarve again when F1 makes its first visit to the track this weekend, and is preparing for it in the simulator he had built at his home earlier this year.

What they say

Bottas raced at the Algarve circuit as part of the British Formula 3 series in 2009, up against rivals including the eventual champion in the series that year, Daniel Ricciardo.

It’s always nice to have a new circuit for Formula 1. Like we saw in Mugello, it’s really nice to have something new, something different.

I’ve been there, I’ve had one or two races there with F3 but that’s about 10 years ago. But I know the track a bit and we did already some prep with the team when I was able to go to UK, some simulator prep, and I have a home simulator as well so for sure I can do a bit of work there.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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@Yaru hopes the budget cap and ‘aero handicap’ rules will reduce dominance by one team in Formula 1 in in the future:

The budget cap I think is fair enough, no team can outspend the other (majority of stuff anyways) like they so now.

While there will still be a gap after the budget cap due to teams already spending a lot pre-cap (mainly Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) long term that will even out.

Is a dominance possible after the budget cap? Yes, but long-term (more than a few years from now) if something like that were to happen again it would be on pure merit as opposed to because one team is richer than the others.

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35 comments on “Bottas using own simulator to prepare for Algarve return”

  1. Bottas is definitely arriving at race weekends looking much more quickly attuned to the circuits this season compared to Hamilton. He’s not always able to carry that momentum forward to qualifying, and definitely not the races itself. But it does suggest his ‘home simulator’ work may be helping him quite a bit.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      18th October 2020, 9:03

      This obviously isn’t going to happen, but perhaps a lack of practice sessions, just one qualifying session and a shorter race would be what would help Bottas beat Hamilton as as you say he usually is quick and often quicker to begin with. I do think Hamilton needs more preperation, but he uses that perfectly most of the time.

      1. Not so sure…
        Not suggesting they do this but if Bottas does all the “donkey work”, Hamilton could easily afford less prep; understand the early data Bottas produces and makes the necessary tweaks for winning the race.

        Evolution of being a champion, minimal prep maximum execution.

        If that data isn’t shared then Hamilton will be forced to do all necessary prep which time wise isn’t effective from a team perspective.

      2. @thegianthogweed If less practice is mandated then I doubt that anything would change with respect to the race and Lewis would just get up to speed faster in practice.

        “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion” has always held true in my experience. The fact that Lewis only manages to get faster during quali (not exclusively true but true often enough) means he is the master of building up momentum. Less time won’t change anything overall.

      3. @thegianthogweed I think Hamilton’s feel for the track, as in the contact between car and road surface, is unsurpassed, even by Verstappen. So in changing conditions, especially less adherence, or when all drivers are unfamiliar with the circuit, he’ll be fastest (he set the fastest first fast lap at Mugello, followed by Verstappen and Ricciardo). Like Rosberg, though, Bottas can work out a fast lap with time and then implement it very precisely. So that’s where good simulator work may help him get started more quickly on a race weekend. Hamilton tends to (like to?) ease into tracks, testing out lines and possibilities before putting it all together on Saturday qualifying. On that I agree with @chimaera2003 . That may be an approach he developed later in his career when he thought Rosberg was getting too much data from him on a Friday (which he often suggested) and the same with Bottas.

    2. @david-br It actually used to be Hamilton who generally topped the FP1 sessions. Even the first 4 race weekends of this season, Hamilton was on top for 3 of those.

      It’s only since the 70th anniversary weekend that Bottas has been pretty much consistently faster on his fastest laps in FP1. Not sure about long runs since that data is more scarce.

      Does that sudden swap mean that Hamilton changed something in the way he prepares? Or Bottas?

      I wouldn’t put it beyond Hamilton to pretend to be struggling so he can pull a rabbit out of the hat without letting Bottas see it on the telemetry. Or perhaps it’s Bottas putting even more emphasis on his Q3 preparation even from FP1.

      The Friday sessions have been rather random this season. We’ve seen even Stroll on top. So perhaps it doesn’t mean anything

      1. @f1osaurus yes, I know it’s relatively recent that Bottas has looked quicker already in FP1, that’s why it suggests there may be something in the home simulator work, if that’s fairly recent too. I tend to agree with you that the signs are he sets up more for Q3 too, looking to win pole and win from there.

        1. @david-br Agreed, but it also has been odd that Hamilton seems to finding some sudden extra pace just before qualifying lately.

      2. Dont forget those ‘practices’ are with the same engine they use in the race.
        I think Hamilton is all about the ‘long game’ doing enough to get by in practice,
        where before he might have driven the call all the time to its max.

        I belive hamilton is preserving his engine for where it matters. eg actual qualifying
        and the race. Where Bottas needs the points, Hamilton simply has to avoid dfs.

        1. call == car

        2. Yes true that could also be the case. Although with the engine mappings being banned that might be not so much a thing they can do anymore?

    3. He could do what Max Verstappen did just visit the circuit and take a car for some laps. So you get the feeling of the surface because Simulation is not the same as real life experience. As he did with most cicuits he wasn’t before or long ago.

    4. It is good that he does do that. Helps merc calculate how much handicap they have to give him for saturdays. Ham has to sign a new deal, they are on their toes all the time but never as much as before Ham signs.

  2. He’ll need to simulate being a drivers world champion. Is there software for that?

    1. @greenflag savage!

      You would think it makes some difference on new circuits.. but does it make a difference at the end of qualifying, when the last couple of tenths are needed?

    2. He just needs to pick Hamilton on the driver select screen, put driver aids on, and computer AI set to Very Easy..

    3. @greenflag F1 2020 Career Mode.

    4. Bottas can yet still try a gender swap. I’m sure he could attract enough attention so that merc would actually want to see him win.

  3. Train very very hard man as that would put more and more qualities into Hamilton’s wins. Thanks.

  4. He should stop playing in “Easy mode”.

  5. He practicing with a Trick Store “ring” buzzer that’s turned around. It shocks the crap out of him unless he drives with finesse. Good for 8/10ths a lap after having a treatment.

  6. Max Mosley, what an awful person. How did F1 end up being run by someone who did that pathetic German Army themed spanking? Always looking for a conflict. Set out to destabilise an F1 team because its owner had opposed him, ignored cheating by a rival team and helped them win. That was the FIA, a structure so easily corrupted because the incumbent can bestow favours on its small electorate. And Ballestre before Mosley, just as bad. Now Jean Todt has no opposition either, he can just stay as long as he wants, and has his corrupt side too, with the driver superlicence points system so obviously set up to get rid of free to air Formula Renault V8. Tho at least he stood up over the Ferrari fuel sensor thing, I suppose that’s progress, relatively, but still he must be colluding with the fake safety cars.

    1. I guess Barbara Streisand is now busy googling Mosley’s links to far-right movements and personal interest in fetish dungeon plays.

    2. @zann Todt is leaving, he is not interested in staying. Super licence points is a way to sustain fia championships. The drivers and championships bypassing the system were not the poor type either, I don’t pity them.
      Frankly f1s biggest problems are merc, RB and only then ferrari. They can do whatever they want and get applauded for it.

      1. Yes @peartree, Todt is choosing to leave when he feels like it, not being voted out by a democratic system. And yes superlicence points were introduced on the pretext of Max being too young at 17, but instead of a simple age limit they conjured up this system that favours the FIA championships they want to favour, with pay-TV.

        FIA did choose to nuke Ferrari over the fuel sensor fixing, that’s something that would never have happened under Bernie and Max, so credit where it’s due. Now Ferrari’s new engine for 2021 will be better AND legal.

        So it’s shades of grey, but a few shades lighter.

  7. @zann Yes. Mosley was fantastically awful, and disturbingly typical of the type found in sporting organisations, the last vestige of the corrupt, arrogant old boys club. The Olympic committe is probably the worst example of this, but can be seen in several other sports too. Luckily Todt has not been so blatant and egocentric, but has done nothing to prevent F1 what it is today with runaway costs, field spread, and rubberstamping the ‘americanization’ of F1 with safety cars and red flags etc.

    1. Yes @balue we should have been able to rely on our long time F1 people to take the best from Liberty, like making this season happen with their drive, but keep F1 reasonably genuine, but they’ve been letting us down.

  8. I still find it staggering how Mosley never went to jail for swindling F1 out of the TV rights when Mosley “sold” it to Ecclestone for the price of a few magic beans.

    1. Wasn’t it £300m @f1osaurus? I read. Still a bargain, but plenty to keep suing people with, I suppose.

      1. @zann Yes I also think it was something like that. 100 years of income when one year of income covers the cost of buying it already.

  9. I expect the wife is madly keen on the simulator using up their kitchen.

    1. He’s divorced.

      1. but has a girlfriend…

  10. I wonder when’s the last time this circuit featured on the F1 sim?
    F2010, F2011 ? Bottas may have to dig out his old PS3 for that. lol

    1. I don’t think F1 has ever raced there, so it wouldn’t feature on any F1 game ever.

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