Team mate battles 2020: The final score – Hamilton vs Bottas

2020 F1 season review

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Victory from pole position in the season-opener suggested Valtteri Bottas might have found the form to take the title fight to Lewis Hamilton. This was an encouraging sign of what might lie ahead in a season which, from the outset, was obviously going to be dominated by Mercedes.

But hopes of a 2016-style fight to the final round were quickly dashed. With eight pole positions from the next nine races, Hamilton took control of the intra-team fight at Mercedes and, with it, the contest for the championship.

During that spell Bottas only took points off his team mate at Monza and Sochi. Like that opening race at the Red Bull Ring, these were all occasions Hamilton fell foul of the stewards.

There were times when Bottas didn’t get the rub of the green and that swung that battle between them. Notably at Imola, where he took pole and led, but collected a large piece of Vettel’s car, and Hamilton jumped his hobbled team mate through the pits.

But more often than not Hamilton was the quicker of the pair. In a season when they were the only two drivers in the title fight, questions inevitably arose over whether Bottas would be the right driver for the Mercedes job if their competition was closer.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Bottas won round one – then Hamilton took control
Unfortunate and undesirable though it was, Hamilton’s absence from the penultimate race due to a positive Covid-19 test offered a fascinating opportunity for Mercedes to test Bottas against the driver most likely to replace either of them one day, George Russell. He was found wanting: Although he pipped Russell to pole position, the newcomer got off the line better and led, and looked on course to win when a pit-stop error cost the team a one-two.

A still ailing (though happily Covid-negative) Hamilton returned for the final round and put in his weakest performance of the season, not that it mattered, the title long since won by this stage. Even without Bottas’s two major misfortunes – the puncture which cost him 18 points at Silverstone and the power unit problem at the Nurburgring which claimed at least a further 15 – Hamilton would have pocketed the title before he was forced to sit out Sakhir.

It’s easy to exaggerate criticism of Bottas, particularly in a season such as this when he is the only driver with a realistic chance of keeping Hamilton from yet another title. As Hamilton pointed out and the statistics below relate, Bottas ran him incredibly close in some qualifying sessions.

Those who criticise Bottas for not being closer to Hamilton’s level should take a look back through the rest of these analyses and consider how many other drivers were further away from team mates who are not seven-times world champions.

But that’s not to say Bottas’s position is indefinitely secure. While Mercedes are adamant he will remain in the car for the 2021 F1 season, he must be feeling grateful he inked his new deal for next year before Russell had a chance to show what he could do in the same machinery.

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Positive gap: Valtteri Bottas was ahead; Negative gap: Lewis Hamilton was ahead

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Race-by-race summary: Hamilton vs Bottas

Lewis HamiltonQ
Valtteri BottasQ

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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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91 comments on “Team mate battles 2020: The final score – Hamilton vs Bottas”

  1. Those that say Bottas is weak (or ‘Max would demolish him’) are certainly wrong when it comes to qualifying, and don’t think that losing out to Hamilton with a smaller margin that others lose to less illustrious teammates is very bad.
    As to the races, well that’s a problem both when he does lose out on Saturday and when he doesn’t but then had some bad starts to lose poles he did get, or 2nd places he might have had otherwise.

    It remains a problem that he rarely looked like he can claw his way back to the very top once he loses out, though circumstances were against him at times too. But he just failed to rise above them this year. This was one of his less competitive seasons I’d say. Hope next year he can give us a bit of a better effort.

    1. Bottas is a good qualifier, that is hard to deny.

      The problem is that he is thoroughly underwhelming on Sundays at basically everything. His starts are poor, his race pace is poor, his tyre management is poor, he makes too many small mistakes, and don’t even get me started on his racecraft. Absolutely shockingly bad whenever he has to make an overtake stick.

      Bottas is 31 and at this age I don’t see him improving either. The driver that we see today is the driver he has been for most of his career and will always be. Decent driver and nice chap but never a world champion.

      1. Decent driver and nice chap but never a world champion

        Until this year I would of disagreed with this, just because if Hamilton retired he would be the experienced driver at Mercedes. But based on this year I honestly now think unless Mercedes went with a real rookie or a Latifi, Bottas would be beaten by the new guy. Yes he has good Quali pace but as @kingshark says that’s it, on Sunday’s he’s been one of the worst drivers on the grid this year.

        Last year he was a Barrichello/Massa, this year he was a Patrese

        1. Barrichello was a better driver than Bottas no question. He had great performances before ever going to Ferrari. There was talk about him being quicker than Schumacher before going to Ferrari.

          Pre-accident Massa a fairly quick driver, beat Kimi in 2008, was beating him in 2009 until the accident. Never the same after that.

          Bottas struggled to put away a Massa about 7-8 years past his peak. Very even especially in races.

      2. I agree.

        I also thought that Bottas would mature and become a real challenger to Hamilton. This year has proven me wrong!

        Valtteri does not enough inner-steel to beat Lewis and Mercedes are doing F1 fans a disservice by keeping him in the team.

        Better that we all see a Russell/Norris in his seat and watch a genuine talent emerge.

    2. I don’t know if this is the case. That Mercedes was a rock solid car, it’s build so well and the team knows it so well it seems pretty much impossible for them to have a car that’s not almost perfectly set-up come qualifying session. So I don’t think any driver would have much of an issue having it in the right window to perform well over a single lap. Given DAS especially it seems that both in qualifying and safety car conditions, both Mercedes didn’t even have to worry about track position and warm-up laps to get the tires in the perfect window for their qualifying laps and race restarts. Add to that their outright pace over other teams meaning they didn’t even have to rely on “tow’s” and other such shenanigans to get P1 and P2 laps out of that car.

      All that to say that it’s impossible to tell if Bottas’ deficit to Lewis is something most drivers would have or if Bottas is a great qualifier and anyone else would be behind him. The fact that Russell almost beat him to pole doesn’t speak in his favour, though, and I wish we would have gotten another race to see if that was representative or not. It does speak to just how good that Merc is that a young driver can step into that car with days to go and immediately be on pace.

      What does speak against Bottas being a great qualifier is the difference between him and Lewis versus what Nico had to Lewis. Lewis beat Nico with only 42 to 36 in qualifying over those four seasons they had together. Now Lewis could have massively upped his game in 2017 to before that, there’s no way of knowing. But Nico was way closer than Bottas has ever been, so I’m not sure I’m willing to go along with this.

      I think Bottas is a noticeably weaker driver than Nico ever was. He’s never been close to Lewis, he’s earned way less wins, gets beaten in qualifying way more often, and his WDC positions are often lower than 2nd and even the two times he’s been 2nd, he’s been somewhat lucky to be there. This year he only barely made it and it’s only because Max DNF’d so often. Despite that car’s clear dominance throughout the season.

      Bottas is a great hand for the role he has. He has enough pace to be thereabouts, but not enough pace to upset the power balance within the team. He’s not supposed to be a better qualifier than Lewis, but he has to have enough pace to be 2nd on the grid -or first when Lewis for some reason can’t do the job- and be enough of a thorn in whoever is in third’s side during the race to make sure Lewis wins.

      1. I tend to agree with most of this. Hamilton has had five team-mates in his career – Alonso, Kovalainen, Button, Rosberg and Bottas.

        Alonso scored 100% of Hamilton’s points (109-109) over 17 races.
        Kovalainen scored 51% of Hamilton’s points (75-147) over 35 races.
        Button scored 102% of Hamilton’s points over 58 races (672-657 – Hamilton had a very bad 2011 season and his narrow victories in 2010 and 2012 can’t make up for it).
        Rosberg scored 89% of Hamilton’s points over 78 races (1190-1339).
        Bottas, so far, has scored 72% of Hamilton’s points over 78/79 races (1101-1531).

        I think Hamilton did improve when he left McLaren for Mercedes, so I’d put Rosberg and Button on about the same level (it’s pretty hard to make comparisons with Alonso because it was Hamilton’s rookie season and [insert 2007 arguments here].), and Bottas is clearly a couple of steps behind them, though several large strides ahead of Kovalainen.

        1. @Ilanin

          Well said. I also think with Hamilton vs Button the final points tally is also skewed in Button’s favour due to reliability. Off the top of my head, in 2012 alone, I remember Korea (running in the podium places before mechanical issues finishing 10th), Singapore (retired from the lead) and Abu Dhabi (also retired from the lead). I think James Allen summed it up well here- sure Hamilton was underwhelming in 2011, but that doesn’t explain the full story. I can’t find the original article on James Allen on F1, but Motorsport have redone the same analysis here.

        2. @ilanin I am sorry but your calculation is total garbage. Hamilton was held back the first half of 2007 and that’s the reason Hamilton and Alonso had the same points, was Lewis treated equally from race one than Lewis would have beaten Alonso hands down, i doubt you have seen the 2007 season to even come to this conclusion and for the 2011 season, yes it was Hamilton’s back season but Lewis was still leading Button at Spa until Lewis got taken out by Kobayashi and gave the point swing to Button.
          In 2012 Lewis lost over 140 points, what do you mean with your ”(672-657 – Hamilton had a very bad 2011 season and his narrow victories in 2010 and 2012 can’t make up for it)” – ? I really doubt you have seen the 2012 season, your whole comment is nothing but nonsense.

          1. I am sorry but your calculation is total garbage.

            the calculation is correct. You seems to give it another spin but that is just you.
            So for facts, these calculus is very correct.
            For “opinions” i guess your vision will be different.

          2. Hamilton was held back the first half of 2007

            False, on the contrary, Alonso was held back after Hungary

            Lewis would have beaten Alonso hands down

            Even with all the team “racing Alonso” as RD put it, Lewis made abismal mistakes both in China and Brazil, That’s why he lost the WDC to Kimi, and the blame is 100% his

    3. How many points do you get for qualifying? Ah, so there you go. It gives you a better chance in race? Ah, but does it matter if you still get overtaken each time? Well, no, right?

    4. János Henkelmann
      18th December 2020, 19:59

      Reminds me of Vandoorne.

      The guy lost out to Nando in Qualifying on every single weekend but as Alonso pointed out, by the smallest margin any team mate ever had against him.

      Sadly, that didn’t save him from being sacked…

    5. @bosyber
      Those who claimed Verstappen would demolish Bottas actually have more arguments than you…
      Actually, Hamilton’s real talent seems to be his consistency throughout one season and his career as a whole, as highlightened by the fact he clinched at least one pole every year.
      But Rosberg proved to be very close to him and consistently quicker in 2014.
      Even Alonso, arguably not the greatest one-lap driver around, had better statistics than Lewis.

  2. At least Bottas kept Hamilton close in qualifying, unlike at Red Bull.

    1. Max would go 17-0 against Bottas in qualifying. I’m not joking.

      1. In a team that is too “Verstappen centered” I would agree, but in a team like Mercedes where they design cars suitable to drive for everyone, unlike *cough cough* Red Bull, I give #77 a fair chance. Red Bull better start building cars that can be driven by everyone, not cars for only driver.

        1. They didn’t build a nervous car for Max, that’s a total back to front understanding. To get the car working, they have a very narrow window and the car isn’t planted at the rear in that window. Most drivers cant cope with that, a Lewis or a Max can, its why they get the big bucks. Any team will follow the points of course but it makes no credible sense to deliberately build a car only 1 person can drive, they want to to be easier to driver, its just not that simple

          1. Yeah, as @tonymansell mentions, it is certainly not by design that the Red Bull is so tricky to get right @krichelle. Sure, it does mean that since they have a guy like Max, they can still get results (a bit like how Leclerc could get decent results out of the Ferrari at times and Alonso was able to get some good results from the McLaren Honda in some races), but it makes it harder to do.

            A less experienced (and likely somewhat less talented) driver than these will find the job harder. I do think that Bottas might actually hold up decently against Max (although he comes from quite a different setup philosophy with Mercedes, but if we ignore that), since his experience would help him get on top of finding a somewhat fine setup. I think that is another reason why Perez might have a less horrid experience at Red Bull than all the juniors too, since he’ll have experience (and confidence) to go from.

          2. @tonymansell Nobody claims that Red Bull designed a “tricky” car on purpose, but they DO design the car to be mostly suitable for Verstappen’s driving style and clearly that tends to lead to a more understeer prone car.

            Either way, they clearly have an issue with proper feedback to improve the car year on year because they have just been deteriorating since Ricciardo left.

          3. @f1osaurus Good luck telling Newey to design a car to suit the driver, this narrative makes no sense given who the designer is.

          4. @aiii Have fun pretending that they don’t just based on one interview you read. ignoring the comments from dozens of drivers how they like the car to suit their style. Or from John Barnard how he indeed wanted Schumacher to change his driving style to suit the car, but Schumacher refused and struggled to make the changes through setup. Which sort of worked when he was still in his prime, but still not optimal. Then when they finally changed the car to suit his style did they actually start winning.

            Cherry picking you are doing is just annoying. Read more than just one article and then form a properly founded opinion.

        2. @Krichelle
          Honestly, Russell came so-damn close from beating bottas in his very first quali attempt, without a proper testing session…
          It’s hard to deny Verstappen would have trashed Bottas even in an equal car.
          That Sakhir GP didn’t make Lewis any favor.

          1. @liko41 Yeah it’s like when Hamilton beat Alonso in his first rookie season. Shows how much of a midfield driver Alonso really is.

            Russell is most likely the best driver currently in F1 after Hamilton. Verstappen was beaten by Ricciardo. So he would be a few notches further behind still.

          2. @f1osaurus
            Verstappen beaten by Ricciardo? Actually, only in 2016 (quali h2h: 11-8. Quite a small margin, considering Max debuted in a Red Bull car only in Spain). In 2017 Verstappen did beat Ricciardo soundly (14-6 in quali) and won one race more.
            And by the way, Ricciardo is a far better driver than Bottas and Rosberg.

      2. @deanfranklin

        If Mercedes operated the way Red Bull have Hamilton would be 17-0 on Bottas as well.

      3. Max would go 17-0 against Bottas in qualifying. I’m not joking.

        We don’t know for sure. Bottas has outqualified all his teammates except Hamilton. He also outqualified Dan Ricciardo whenever they met in the lower categories, and Dan Ric would outqualify Verstappen a handful of times each year 2017-2018.

        People trying to read too much from one race(Sakhir). Difficult to come to any firm conclusions as a couple of things helped Russell–(1) It had been clear for some time that Bottas had already mentally checked out for the season. Hamilton had already battered the positivity and motivation out of Bottas. (2) The track was a mickey mouse track (3)Bottas had no tow (4)George was helped by using Bottas’ data.

        One race is too small data to be drawing conclusions from

        1. @f1osaurus Actually someone did infer it and that who I was talking to @krichelle . So maybe read the thread first. And the car is nervous at the back, the understeer element is not an issue, even if its a thing which is debatable as a car thats nervous at the back is more prone to be oversteery.

          Newey does tend to be quite stubborn with his designs but i’d expect its way less simplistic than poor feedback. You cannot know this.

          1. @tonymansell I guess this was meant as a reply to @amam instead of me?

            Or if it was supposed to be addressed to me, then no, the inference was on the car not suiting both drivers. not that it was designed to handle poorly on purpose.

  3. It says it all when Russell was not only immediately on Bottas’s pace when he jumped into a Merc that was set up for another driver, but then 48 hours later on his way to a resounding victory over Bottas before the Mercedes pitcrew intervened with an unprecedented blunder.

    1. Indeed.
      If you assume Lewis is divine, then any driver that occasionally beats him should be pretty good.

      But, let’s turn it around. The Merc is the divine element here. Russell showed how avg Bottas really is. Now, what does that say about Lewis.

      Max or Charles would have better stats against Bottas.

      1. What does that say about Lewis? Let me guess, he’s lucky to have that car. And here we go again. If and when Russell does pop up and if he doesnt match up, pretty sure you’ll pop up saying they favour Lewis. See same old same old about Max.

        1. Exactly, same old, same old, always find something to pull Lewis down, the GOAT

          1. Honestly, this GOAT argument really became VERY slippery this year…
            Lewis was definitely clever to ask his car back at Abu Dhabi…

      2. Well using the same logic that tells me that if you compare the junior careers up to and including F3 and F2 of Max, Charles and Russell it shows that given equal equipment Russell is the superior driver. As he also proved when he got the one and only chance in F1. So that tells me Max having spent the first part of his career playing second fiddle to Hamilton will spend the second half of his career playing second fiddle to Russell no matter what machinery he is in.
        Think I’ve followed your logic correctly?

        But looking on the bright side, surely it’s got to be Russell in that car come 22. And no one can have a problem with that, can they?

      3. @trib4udi

        Russell showed how avg Bottas really is. Now, what does that say about Lewis.

        But Russell was outqualified by the so called average driver, and beaten in the race (fortune or not)?
        Also, if we are going to use that logic; Latifi has more higher placed finishes in the Williams (11th, twice). So without the Sakhir grand prix, Russell would have had the indignity of being outclassified by Latifi in the final standings.

        I think we can all agree, that Hamilton would mop the floor with Latifi, and would have scored points in Imola when Russell binned it. Given Hamilton is streets ahead of Russell in the wet, who knows, he could have possibly nicked some points in the wet like in Instanbul?

        I will ask a genuine question- how long have you been watching F1 and their support series, GP2 for example? Anyone who has followed Hamilton throughout his career, particularly in the spec series of GP2, will appreciate his talent. Also anyone who only judges Hamilton according to Bottas IMO hasn’t been watching F1 that long. Hamilton has been in F1 for 14 seasons- and he is 12-2 up against his team mates that include world champions like Rosberg, Alonso and Button. He’s not always had a “Bottas” alongside.

        1. GP2 now called F2- still struggling to adjust.

        2. I follow F1 since 1988. Also I don’t deny Lewis’ talent.
          All I am saying is that Charles or Max would have had better stats than Lewis against Bottas. Maybe Lewis not so hungry anymore?

          Bottas really is an average driver. Doesn’t have the mental strength nor the racecraft to be up there with the best.

          1. ‘all you are saying’ is a 7x WDC, including this one at a canter, isn’t as good as 2 guys who’ve won none. Yes that’s such a small leap. I think you are hungry, have some brain food.

          2. @trib4udi

            All I am saying is that Charles or Max would have had better stats than Lewis against Bottas.

            All we really know is that Russel is a better driver than Verstappen and Leclerc.

          3. @trib4udi

            All I am saying is that Charles or Max would have had better stats than Lewis against Bottas. Maybe Lewis not so hungry anymore?

            But this is conjecture though. Would Charles, given how error prone he is, really have better stats against Lewis? Sure he’s made Seb look average, but that is an assumption not based on the facts of Leclerc’s overall performance. Same could be said of Max.

            I struggle to see the justification for your harsh judgement of Hamilton vs Bottas though- Massa (post 2009) even outqualified Alonso on merit several times which led to Ferrari sabotaging their own car for eg so Alonso could have the clean side of the grid (Austin 2012). Barrichello even outqualified Schumi on merit several times too, despite being a clear number 2 driver. This is sport, upsets happen. So are to also lower the stocks of those 2 champions as well, based on that?

        3. great point and probably the most valid one

      4. People jumping to conclusions after 1 race should remember Vandoorne Bahrain 2016. Does what happened there mean Vandoorne was a better driver than Button? And by extension, does that mean Alonso is average, being outscored (2016) by Button who was beaten by Vandoorne over 1 race?

        Does Portugal 1993 mean Senna was average?

        PEOPLE NEED TO STOP JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS ON THE BACK OF 1 RACE. One swallow does not make a summer

        1. @amam

          all good points. If we look at one race, then look at the first race of the season. Hamilton collects multiple penalties in one weekend, doesn’t even make it to the podium and Bottas wins. Based on that, Bottas is better than Hamilton and should be the number 1 driver. But that does not prove anything in the long term.

          Russell had the better start and if anything, didn’t look quite as quick in the 2nd stint as Bottas. Bottas was a bit poor that race and Russell was really impressive given he’s switched all of a sudden. But he’s not as new to the team as people think. He’s been there in the background for testing and other things for quite a while so it won’t be a totally new environment for him.

          The other thing that annoys me is people using the easiest, simplest track layout of the season as 100% evidence of everything. People also are saying Bottas is a very bad starter. he’s had bad starts about 5 times this year, which out of 17 races does not look great, but he isn’t always like this and to be fair, hamilton has gone backwards off the line at least 3 times and Tuskany he was basically saved by Verstappen’s issue forcing many behind him to life – otherwise he would be in 4th – 5th place at best in the first few corners. Does anyone remember the race before Russell came to this team? He had the worst start of anyone. And unfortuantly, although it has been masked by being at the worst team, Russell has had the worst starts of any driver on average over the past 2 years. When team mates with Kubica, he got outlaunched by him 11/19 times they both started on the grid. Sort of undoes his qualifying statistics if he can’t hold position for more than a few corners half the time. Admittedly he recovers later on though. Even this year, he has lost places many times on the first lap. Losing places later on in a car this bad is understandable, but I think Russell isn’t very good at consistently getting his tyres prepared on the warm up lap. Had he been at a top team these last 2 years, many of his starts would have lost way more positions than being in the worst car. I think Bottas gets judged purely because his car is more visible, when actually it is russell in the past few years that has been having much worse starts than Bottas on average.

          Looking back at Russell at williams, he doesn’t look as good on race day on average as this one single occation at mercedes. Even this year, he nearly got beaten by Latifi in both British races as well as getting comfortably beaten in Russia and binning it at Imola. Latifi is not a strong driver, and If Russell was that amazing, I think the difference between them would look even more apparent on sunday than Saturday, but I would say that Russell isn’t on average that amazing on Sunday. I think in time he will be better than Bottas, but not as convinced as many are that there is already proof that he would instantly do a better job than Bottas would over a full season had he been at Mercedes this / next year. Think he needs to improve a bit more first really.

          1. Long read there @thegianthogweed, but I found it well worth it. Let’s not forget that last year he had some super starts (and occasionally overly fast, which then bogged him down like it did with others – not seen that this year, for anyone by the way, curious!) last year, and in 2016 Hamilton’s loss to Rosberg can be attributed partly to some bad getaways too (though Rosberg had them as well, and said Merc. had issues getting it consistently right).

            And we could say Russell w/o the Merc. race could have lost out on Sundays, at least in the stats, for two years in a row (Kubica got that point not him!). I don’t think it needs to be a true reflection of craft, but there you are.

            Immediate conclusions are easy, but do not always lead to the correct result.

      5. Going by that flawed logic, in the first race of the season Bottas must have showed how average Lewis is and how obvious it was that he Bottas was going to win the 2020 championship!

        Oh, that doesn’t make sense? It must be because one race is a useless sample size!

    2. @deanfranklin

      You’re really going overtime with your propaganda aren’t you? How about this then. Latifi in the Williams had more higher placed finishes (11th, twice). So if Russell didn’t drive the Merc, he possibly would have finished behind Latifi in the standings. So should we also judge Russell by those standards? How about when Russell binned a glorious points scoring opportunity in Imola? Hamilton would have scored points in that race, in that car, in Russell’s position. So if you’re going to make wild assumptions, based on a 54s track, where Russell was defeated by Bottas in both qualifying and (unlucky) in the race, we can also make wild assumptions on Russell based on some of his errors. And that’s before we even get to Russell’s underwhelming wet weather performances?

  4. As expected the stats show a clear teammate battle win by Lewis.
    I’m actually still a bit surprised Bottas was ahead during a third of the laps. But when it counted (last lap) Lewis clearly beat him.

  5. I don’t know why but this morning Youtube suggested me a Jacques Villeneuve interview before the start of the 2018 season in which he said that Bottas is absent as a driver, the interviewer told him that he won 2 races and he responded that he won those races because Lewis was sleeping :)
    The thing is he said that in the past when a race driver win 10 races and have one bad race after that, he will be crucified while Bottas won 2 races and has a poor season and he is still praised by the media.
    Villeneuve has been always spot on.

    1. I don’t know why but this morning Youtube suggested me …

      Those algorithms are pretty amazing.
      I get constant link suggestions to pizzerias in Washington DC ;)

      1. @coldfly
        I see what you did there ! I suppose you don’t like pizza and you’re not from Washington DC :)

    2. Villeneuve has been always spot on.

      i have to clean my monitor now… reading this kind of sarcasm is always great.

  6. Just did a quick comparison between Bottas and Barrichello and the result was Bottas was better.

    1. That’s because Schumacher was better than Hamilton (in my opinion certain people get upset with my opinion sorry). A nearly 44 year old Schumacher was 10-10 in qualifying against a prime Rosberg who then went 36-42 in qualifying against Hamilton.

      1. @@deanfranklin

        A nearly 44 year old Schumacher was 10-10 in qualifying against a prime Rosberg who then went 36-42 in qualifying against Hamilton.

        Rosberg beat Schumacher 41-17. Please educate yourself.

      2. wow you really are an MS PR wetdreem aren’t you. Do you mean the same MS who got 1 podium in 3 years and was pulverised by Rosberg?

        The only good thing about MS 2.0 was he pulled the plug on it

    2. Bottas vs Barrichello stats in F1 :
      9 wins to 11
      56 podium to 68
      16 pole to 14

      And Bottas has driven the most dominant F1 cars in recent history for 4 consecutive seasons with the exception of the 2018 Mercedes which was a championship winning car equally fast with the Ferrari depending on the track. Barrichello has driven dominant F1 cars for 2 and half seasons (2002,2004 and first part of 2009) which make Bottas stats even worse.

      1. 2017 Merc car was nowhere near being dominant-in fact many argued the SF70h was often better than the W08 e.g.

        To push a certain narrative, people like to conveniently forget that Vettel led the 2017 title race for most of the season

        1. @amam well these cars are more reliable too.

        2. @amam
          The SF70h lacked high speed aero and bhp compared to the W08. It was a downforce monster that worked pretty well on high downforce tracks (Hungary, Singapore, Monaco) but was also very draggy which made it suffer against Mercedes in power sensitive tracks.

          Vettel was leading the WDC before the summer break and not for most part of the season as you claim and lost it in Monza. Ferrari were subject to a TD by the FIA with regard an auxiliary oil tank. Once the tank in question was removed after the Canadian GP, they were even down on power compared to Mercedes.

          The last blow in Ferrari title hopes came in Belgium when Mercedes introduced their 3rd PU and enjoyed running it with the old oil consumption restriction of 1.2l/100km instead of the stricter limit of 0.9l/100km imposed from Monza onward.

          The SF70h was also less reliable and it was by no mean a match to the W08 on the second part of the season. The W08 has a very narrow operating window and was hard to set up/drive and that’s when Hamilton started earning his money but was the fastest car.

          1. I’m not gonna address all your points-other than ask you to do your sums-Vettel did lead for the majority of the season

            the main point being made is the W08 and SF70 both had their strengths and weaknesses and were overall close on performance. The W08 wasn’t a dominant car. There were even races where BOTH RB and Ferrari were quicker than Merc e.g. Singapore, Mexico etc

  7. *nearly 43

  8. I think half the grid could probably do as good a job as Bottas in the second Mercedes, but that probably makes it hard to justify replacing him when scoring regular points and winning a couple of times per season when the stars align, is enough to seal the constructors championship.

    1. TBF Hamilton’s points alone were enough to seal the championship Ham 347- 319 RB

      1. If Bottas wasn’t there, Verstappen and Albon would almost always be one position closer each and most of the time, Bottas’s not being there won’t have benifitted Hamilton in the same way.

        1. Just the other day i saw a post on Reddit where a user adjusted points for Hamilton and RBR drivers if Bottas did not exist in the championship. And even then Hamilton narrowly beat RBR. I think by 5-6 points.

        2. @thegianthogweed

          If Hamilton were Mercedes’ only driver

          A lot of people have said that Hamilton theoretically could take 2nd place in Constructors’ all by himself, just behind the Mercedes team, but nobody ever wondered if Hamilton could have won it all by himself.

          Because of that, I decided to see what would happen if Bottas didn’t exist.

          **AUSTRIAN GP – BOTTAS 1ST**

          With Bottas out, Hamilton moves up to 3rd, gaining 3 points.

          HAM +3

          **STYRIAN GP – BOTTAS 2ND**

          Bottas finished 2nd, but with him out, both Red Bulls get on the podium, gaining them 6 points. Hamilton was already ahead of Bottas, so he gets none.

          RB +6

          **HUNGARIAN GP – BOTTAS 3RD**

          Bottas gets the last spot on the podium, but with him out, Albon moves up a spot, granting the Red Bulls 2 points. Hamilton and Verstappen were both ahead of Bottas.

          RB +2

          **BRITISH GP – BOTTAS 11TH**

          Nothing changes here as Bottas finishes out of the points.

          **70TH ANNIVERSARY – BOTTAS 3RD**

          Bottas gets bronze in this race, but Leclerc will enjoy the trophy with the Finn gone. Albon moves up a spot and bags 2 points.

          RB +2

          **SPANISH GP – BOTTAS 3RD**

          Albon gets 2 more points with Bottas out of the running. Hamilton and Verstappen remain the same with both finishing ahead.

          RB +2

          **BELGIAN GP – BOTTAS 2ND**

          Bottas ends up runner-up to his teammate here, but his disappearance will grant the Red Bulls 5 points.

          RB +5

          **ITALIAN GP – BOTTAS 5TH**

          Bottas rounds out the Top 5 here, but Hamilton moves up to 6th if the Finn is out. The Red Bulls both retired and do not get anything.

          HAM +2

          **TUSCAN GP – BOTTAS 2ND**

          Bottas came second best in this race, but Albon will inherit that once he’s gone.

          RB +3

          **RUSSIAN GP – BOTTAS 1ST**

          Verstappen inherits the win from Bottas, and Hamilton goes from bronze to silver. Albon gets one additional point.

          HAM +3
          RB +8

          **EIFEL GP – BOTTAS DNF**

          Nothing changes here.

          **PORTUGUESE GP – BOTTAS 2ND**

          The Dutchman moves up to 2nd with the Finn out, and Albon moves up to 11th, therefore no points from the Thai.

          RB +3


          With Albon in 15th and Verstappen in the gravel, Red Bull get nothing from here.

          **TURKISH GP – BOTTAS 14TH**

          Bottas is classified out of the points, and thus, none of the three gain points from him.

          **BAHRAIN GP – BOTTAS 8TH**

          Bottas finishes behind all three, so nothing changes.

          **SAKHIR GP – BOTTAS 8TH**

          Once again, Bottas does not finish ahead of any of the three, so no changes.

          **ABU DHABI GP – BOTTAS 2ND**

          Hamilton and Albon both move up, so nobody gains any points on each other.

          HAM +3
          RB +3

          **FASTEST LAPS**

          Bottas has recorded two fastest laps in this season: Russia and Spain. The second-fastest lap in Russia is set by Gasly, but it was Hamilton with the second-fastest in Spain.

          HAM +1

          Wanna know the final standings?

          **HAMILTON: 359 points**

          **RED BULL: 353 points**

          Hamilton takes the Constructors’ Championship!

          EDIT: Hamilton’s position in Russian GP.

          SECOND EDIT: Fastest lap.

          Source: Reddit

          1. I still think this is a load of guessing here though. Without Bottas there, the starting positions obviously will have been different and will have given a huge benefit to Verstappen and a much greater chance to pass in the opening stages. Unlikely to happen, but I still think there will have been enough advantages on verstappen’s side to get more points that this suggests if Bottas was not there, but there isn’t exactly proof of anything as you can’t confirm what hasn’t been the case. I think however Albon has been far, far worse than Bottas this year. With 5 retirements for Verstappen, he’s still got over double albon’s points. With wins hamilton gets amplifying the difference between him and Bottas even more points wise, the gap percentage wise is far smaller. And at least it can be said Bottas had worse luck than Hamilton this year.

    2. I think half the grid could probably do as good a job as Bottas in the second Mercedes

      Most definitely not. Only handful would come as close as Bottas does.

      That’s the problem Bottas has. He’s compared to the by far best driver of the field. And the second problem is that it’s mostly Bottas having the issues with the car. Flat tyres, random damage engine issues.

      While when it was Rosberg vs Hamilton it would be Hamilton having the issues and then when people compare Rosberg to Hamilton they see Rosberg won a race. For instance Rosberg won the first 4 races of 2016. When Hamilton was rammed off by Bottas on lap one and Hamilton started from P10 and P22 in two others. So that’s 3 easy races “won” for Rosberg, but people just sa that Hamilton wasn’t “focussed” or that “Rosberg took the fight to him”

      1. @f1osaurus
        Rosberg took the fight to Hamilton well before 2016. He soundly beat Hamilton in quali in 2014 and, if you look at the 3year-stats of the two, Hamilton only prevailed by a slim margin.

        Bottas is nowehere near those performances.

        1. @liko41 Rosberg would finish ahead only 1 in 4 races when both had functioning cars. Bottas also finishes ahead once every 4 races if they both don;t have issues.

          The only real difference is that Hamilton had the brunt of the issues while he was up against Rosberg and that lately it’s mostly Bottas who has the issues. Like a win in Baku lost, or a P2 lost in Silverstone

          1. LOL.
            You must be joking!

  9. This year does not make good reading for Bottas. If you look at the 4 races he finished ahead, Austria (the opener) is the only one where you could say he 100% outperformed Hamilton. Italy there was the safety car incident for Hamilton (who was well ahead), Russia penalties for Hamilton took him out the equation and Abu Dhabi Hamilton was returning from Covid.

    I do rate Bottas, but feel the Hamilton effect has completely broken him. Being beaten by someone you just can’t match talent wise must be soul destroying, knowing you can race at your 100% and still be beaten. I hope after Mercedes he goes to a decent midfield team, as I think he would surprise a few people.

    1. If drivers are not fully recovered, It isn’t sensible to race surely? The gap between Abu Dhabi and the last race Hamilton was in was the standard gap of two weeks. With the training these drivers go though, I just am not convinced that Hamilton having and recovered from the virus will have effected him.

      1. I don’t think Ham had completely recovered, but he is at such a high physical level that he was still probably in the super fit bracket. He looked quite chilled immediately after the race in interview. He had two attempts at beating Bottas, and like Albon later in the race hit a brick wall at just under 2s to the guy in front. So yes, AD was a Bottas result over Hamilton on merit.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          18th December 2020, 13:56

          Hamilton regularly slows down after he’s won the title. If the title was still up for grabs, Hamilton would have beaten him comfortably.

          1. That was true once, that hamilton slows down after title, but he’s corrected that flaw since 2019 I think.

    2. Bahrain was the first time I have not wanted Hamilton to compete.

      Hamilton should have allowed Bottas the chance give a better account of himself.
      In one stroke he gave his rabid detractors all the excuses they needed to rant their
      usual bile.

      Hamilton does make some silly decisions (Ahem joining Mercedes from McLaren, excepted) as I suppose we all do from time to time, but this was a corker.

      Why did he need to come back whilst still under the influence of C19? Doa!
      Just let Russell and Bottas go at it!!!

      Another example of silly thinking. Asking Martin Whitless to participate in a commission on equality??! Thats like putting the Fox in charge of the Chicken Pen, No?

      I think Russell has real potential and carries threat, unlike the puffed up
      Jenson Bottom. Not sure of Russell’s wet weather abilities against the master.

      Now as things stand, Bottas has blotted his copy book.

      From Hamiltons legacy point of view, Better to give Russell the seat in 2021.

      My money is on Hamilton.

    3. I do rate Bottas, but feel the Hamilton effect has completely broken him

      And posters who keep blabbing on about Russell forget this–it was made easier for Russell to step in and perform well, in part due to Hamilton having already done the hard work of breaking Bottas’s motivation. It had been clear for sometime before Sakhir, that Bottas had mentally given up.

      At the start of each season, we see a motivated Bottas, porridge, to whom it may concern etc..I’m not yet convinced that George would’ve immediately gotten so close to that particular version of Bottas.

      1. @amam
        Bottas should actually be super motivated in Sakhir GP, due to the fact A LOT of his credibility was at stake.
        He only managed to beat Russell slightly in quali and got almost trashed on race pace…
        And George was the one under pressure.

  10. A true great relishes a challenge and is dissatisfied with replicating easy wins forever and ever. A true great can’t stomach that sort of diet. But that is what Lewis is happy with.
    We all watched George Russell demonstrate in Bahrain that nothing is easier than to emulate Lewis’s “wonder feats”.

    Where does the real challenge lie? In another team. And of all the teams, it is the red team that is in need of a first rate pilot who can lead them from mediocrity back to where they belong: at the pinnacle.
    But you need guts as well as talent, and massive self confidence.

    Is that Lewis? No.
    He will stick with the easy, and carry on ringing up titles. Seven. Ten. Twelve, why not.

    1. We all watched George Russell demonstrate in Bahrain that nothing is easier than to emulate Lewis’s “wonder feats”.

      Bahrain was where Vandoorne demonstrated that nothing is easier than to emulate Alonso’s “wonder feats”.

    2. What absolute total and utter T O S H !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rodberr you seem to forget Lewis has had teammates in Alonso, Button and Rosberg who are WDC’s and his record against them stands up to anyones record against them. Bottas whilst boring the pants of the entire of F1 is as close to Lewis in qually as anyone. But you suggest a guy after 1 race should be brought in. Twisted logic

      As for Ferrari, yes I concede he should go there but the planets have never aligned. Maybe Senna, maybe Jim Clark maybe many drivers could’ve and should’ve gone there but it doesn’t diminish their accomplishments and its not upto Lewis to bale Ferrari out of the next mess they make of themselves

  11. “Valtteri, we have a flat”

  12. Toto owns part of the team, I think he is perfectly capable and motivated to choose the best team to reach the targets: win constructor’s and driver’s 1-2. He trusted Hamilton and Bottas to deliver it and they did. Same thing next year, I have full respect he knows what he’s doing. Entertainment factor is secondary, people want the winners.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      18th December 2020, 14:01

      That’s it – Wolff has lived through trying to manage two drivers who compete with each other and it was a nightmare for him. Not he’s got two drivers who don’t compete with each other and a car that’s fast enough to win the Championship anyway.

      The only benefit for Mercedes in putting Russell in the car now is to give him more experience for when Hamilton retires but if the Mercedes is as far ahead as it is now, he could win the title with the experience he currently has fairly easily.

      1. @petebaldwin I think the Rosberg/Hamilton rivalry extended well beyond the Mercedes works team. I believe Dieter Zetsche, the previous CEO of Mercedes, joked in an interview that he was in the shower when he got a call from Lewis and was wondering what it was about again but it turned out to be good news or something.

        @tompax yes, Toto has definitely done what the team is required to do. His job is not to turn every aspiring driver into a WDC. He has no reason to let go of Hamilton when they’ve seen so much success together.

  13. I say again, Bottas has only been running Hamilton close in qualifying since he was given Lewis’s performance engineer, Riccardo Musconi (Ricci) in 2019.

    It is no wonder that this was the season that Bottas ran Lewis the closest, actually matching him in pole positions and when he mounted his most convincing challenge yet.

    Bottas confirmed the engineer swap gave him valuable insights into Lewis’s driving secrets/tricks and helped him immensely. Unfortunately, such insights are easier to replicate over a qualifying lap that over multiple race laps. This is why his qualifying pace improved relative to Lewis remarkably, but he was always found wanting in the race.

    I am pretty sure if other less performing drivers like Albon, Ocon, or even Vettel, were given their teammates performance engineers, we would see them also run them much close in qualifying.

    1. @Kbdavies
      Surely, Verstappen would have trashed Bottas in quali, as he did with Albon.

  14. I’m sad to say this was the season I gave up on Bottas. He’s still an excellent qualifier (as is Hamilton) but his racecraft hasn’t developed nearly enough to challenge for regular wins. His starts have been poor, his overtaking lacklustre, and his tyre/race management questionable. For a Finn, he’s also surprisingly weak in damp and wet conditions.

    Yes, there has been some bad luck along the way, but that excuse only goes so far. Year after year, his performance tails off in the second half of the season. I’m not sure if it’s a mental issue or what. I never expected him to take a championship off Hamilton – though I could hope! – but I always defended him as being a solid backup option, ideally suited to Mercedes’ needs. In some ways he still is, but being outclassed by Russell on his team debut really showed him up. Right now I think he’s maybe the seventh or eighth best driver in F1, which makes him lucky to be in the best car. He has a contract for next season, but I think that will mark the end of his time with the team.

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