Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Bottas says there was “not a lot” between him and Hamilton despite points gap

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says there wasn’t much to separate him and Lewis Hamilton in this year’s championship fight, despite the points gap between them widening as his team mate clinched the title.

Hamilton secured the championship at the last race in Turkey, drawing 110 points clear of Bottas with 78 available over the remaining rounds.

“It is a fact that for me, the championship is lost,” Bottas acknowledged. However he said there are “many positives I can take” from the year so far.

“I’ve been able to improve on many areas,” he said. “For sure still not enough to win the title but I’ll keep pushing.

“There were some unlucky races that I lost some points. But there were also races that Lewis was better than me and that’s, in the end, how he made the difference.”

Bottas said the gap between them in terms of performance “was sometimes about really fine margins, whether it was about qualifying or how the race ended up in terms of what kind of strategy I was pushing for or he was pushing for.”

“In this sport, the points difference can look pretty big now, I know,” said Bottas, “but in the end it comes down to fine margins.

“I’ve been unable to be as consistently at such a top level than Lewis has been this year, so I think that’s made a difference. It’s not a lot, but it is enough to win.

“That’s something I’ll really keep pushing on for the future because I feel I’m getting better each year. So that gives me hope and motivation and I will push more to try and keep growing for the future and now especially for next year.”

Bottas will equal his best championship result, which he also scored last season, if he beats Max Verstappen to second place over the remaining races.

“From my side, of course, the season is not finished yet,” said Bottas. “We still have three races.”

“There’s still a lot you can do and try and get a positive ending to the year,” he added.

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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32 comments on “Bottas says there was “not a lot” between him and Hamilton despite points gap”

  1. Bottas has had more bad luck this year but 110 points is too much to speculate on that. Lewis would still be leading if he had zero points in Silverstone and Nürburgring while Bottas would have gone to win – and that tells a lot.

    1. Bottas is delusional. Then again, if he doesnt claim this, then who will. Luckily Wolff was his manager or he would still be at Williams

      1. You can’t say that he is the Barrichello of Mercedes?

  2. In this sport, the points difference can look pretty big now, I know,” said Bottas, “but in the end it comes down to fine margins.

    If you want to become World Drivers’ Champion then you’ll need to make sure those fine margins are in your favour, not Lewis’s.

    1. Indeed @drycrust. Being just a bit slower, less canny, less skilled at keeping the tyres alive etc, will mean you always finish behind on average.

  3. Well, i guess that’s one way to look at it

  4. In this business you make your own luck, and time and time again Bottas has been found wanting in the little wheel-to-wheel combat we’ve seen between him and Hamilton this year.

    He’s close in qualifying. Sometimes very close. But as soon as they get into turn 1 it’s clear Bottas is the team player, always ready to back out of a 50/50 earlier than Lewis will. At least with Nico Rosberg you got the sense he would give everything he had to keep Hamilton behind. I never really feel that with Bottas.

    1. @cduk_mugello Agreed. When there was ‘not a lot’ between LH and Nico, at least Nico was ahead a lot more. Sure we can say Nico was often that tenth or two back, but then there were way more times than with VB that he managed to be ahead. For VB the gap is almost always in LH’s favour, so the ‘not a lot’ VB claims actually snowballs into a huge gap where it counts….in the points standings.

      Bottom line for me, whatever VB’s pace on a given day, he seems incapable of taking the gloves off and actually pressuring LH. If VB thinks he’s still getting better that might be pace-wise, but I have no expectation that he means he’ll get better at actually taking his WCC car to the fight with LH.

    2. I often wonder about the relative difference between Bot and Ham in qualifying and in the races. Seems to me that there’s a reasonable chance that Bot focuses his cars setup each weekend on maximising his quali pace perhaps on the basis that if he starts in front, maybe he can stay in front. If that is what he is doing it rarely works.

      1. I think so he thought if he can get a pole he can win but unfortunately he is been unable to convert the poles to win
        To me he still has a long way to go to catch up

    3. @cduk_mugello

      Actually, with Nico Rosberg you got the sense he would find a way to cheat or damage his teammate in order to gain an advantage.
      In that sense, yeah, Bottas is more of a team player than Nico ever was.

      1. @liko41 you okay hun?

        1. @cduk_mugello
          Perfectly fine, thanks.
          Should I ask you the same question, because you seem very much a Rosberg’s groupie TBH.

          1. @liko41 that’s so funny, if only you knew the truth! I couldn’t stand him as a driver. Really didn’t like him. That’s what happens when you’re a Schumacher fan growing up, and his comeback doesn’t go to plan!

            But since his retirement I’ve had time to judge him again. Especially compared to Bottas. And I think Rosberg is actually pretty underrated. He was never a real tier 1 star like Alonso or Hamilton, but he was consistent and capable of beating the best.

  5. 4 world championships…

  6. Jose Lopes da Silva
    26th November 2020, 18:10

    The problem is that Hamilton has been doing progresses too over the last seasons.

  7. As the saying goes, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little “extra”.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      26th November 2020, 18:39


      I’ve always found the word extraordinary an odd one. It just makes it sound like it is even more normal than simply ordinary.

      That little “extra” to make you less(?) “ordinary”. Some words have strange meanings.

      1. It does sound like that. “Extra” means outside the scope of, rather than very. So it works if you think of it like that. e.g. Extracurricular activities.

      2. It’s a strange word. Often one assumes it is equivalent of “very” but it is not.

  8. Wow Bottas 2.0 comes with delusional software

    1. « Fail 82, fail 82. You did fail 84 »

  9. Funny enough, last race proved how tough it is to deliver when you have the best car. Red Bull was the absolute top in Turkey, yet Max Verstappen failed to get both pole position and victory.
    THe margins are of course very tiny, but yet they exist. And all of them are in Hamilton’s favour at Mercedes.

  10. Whatever helps you sleep at night Bottas 🙂

  11. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    26th November 2020, 20:21

    I don’t think Bottas’s main point was what the title of this thread is. He’s pretty hard on himself overall and gives a lot of credit to Hamilton. The title of this page makes bottas seem more impressed with his own performance than he is. the few things he does give himself credit for are certainly some areas he has improved.

  12. @thegianthogweed I have to say it’s impressive how close he gets to Hamilton in performance though. He’s been unlucky often with 3 times a zero points score and a damaged car in Monza.

    Problem is he’s been pretty consistently slower either in quali or in the race and then Bottas scores at least 7 points less with Hamilton finishing in p1 and himself in p2. That adds up.

  13. Yes, we were able to find out at the last grand prix.

    …the difference is not much Balteri, I don’t understand it either.

  14. You make your own luck much like Rosberg in 2016 where he drove clean and didn’t make too many mistakes (far less mistakes than his teammate anyway).

    1. That’s hilarious!

      Rosberg topped the driving penalties chart in 2016 with many more points than anyone..

      Bottas is actually closer to Hamilton in qualifying margins than Rosberg was when averaging over a season and wins around as many races (on his good years) as Rosberg did (both cars finishing etc etc)

      I believe the major difference is that apart from this year there have been many more cars closer at the front and it is a more competitive field following the 2017 changes and the improvements made by other teams.

      Then the race craft differences between the two drivers which is actually a big margin has a far bigger effect on the points available.

      I also think Bottas is racing a completely different Lewis post 2017.

  15. I think so he thought if he can get a pole he can win but unfortunately he is been unable to convert the poles to win
    To me he still has a long way to go to catch up

  16. That’s positive thinking. You’ll get him next year. Just like you were going to get him this year. I’m pulling for you.

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