Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2021

Hamilton: Bottas ‘left the door open for Verstappen’ at the start

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton blamed his team mate Valtteri Bottas for allowing Max Verstappen to pass them at the start of the Mexico City Grand Prix.

The three drivers went side-by-side into the first corner where Verstappen was able to pass the pair of them.

Mercedes had discussed how they would arrange the start of the race to contain the threat of Verstappen. But Hamilton, who started second behind his team mate, said it did not go according to plan.

“I had envisaged it differently, naturally, in the sense that Valtteri maybe would get a better start and I would have tried to get into his tow,” he said.

“But obviously I was alongside him, which was good. And then I was just covering my side of the track, trying to make sure no one could come up the inside so I was trying to keep whichever Red Bull I could see in my mirror behind.

“I thought Valtteri would be doing the same but obviously he left the door open for Max. And Max was on the racing line so he did a mega job braking into turn one and because I’m on the inside in the dirt there was no hope for me.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff made similar remarks to Hamilton earlier. “That should not happen,” he said, when asked about the ease with which Verstappen passed the two Mercedes.

Compounding Mercedes’ problems, Bottas was then hit by Daniel Ricciardo, and fell to the back of the field. That left Hamilton trying to single-handledly see off the threat of Verstappen and his team mate Sergio Perez.

“That made the race a lot harder, naturally,” Hamilton said. “Having one car ahead just means they can play on the strategy.

Hamilton held on to take second place despite strong pressure from Perez over the final laps. “Sergio I think was super-close within that first stint and I couldn’t really pull away from him,” Hamilton explained. “So it was a moment where they were either going to undercut us or we were going to undercut them.

“So we stopped and I think the team did a great job – it was just we didn’t have really much left on the tyres at the end. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. We managed to keep them behind. One more lap and I think it would have been over.”

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2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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148 comments on “Hamilton: Bottas ‘left the door open for Verstappen’ at the start”

  1. This dude is such a sore loser. pathetic really

    1. well, that is a fact isn’t it!? everybody knows the track is wide and Bottas leaving the outside line for the taking like that was naive and borderline dumb. Or intentional. Likely intentional.

      1. It wasn’t intentional, just incompetence. Bottas is a great qualifier, but his racecraft is mostly subpar. At least he didn’t cause another carnage. Still I think Lewis should have kept his mouth shut. Same with the Perez comment, even though he was right there too.

      2. Bottas did nothing wrong. In fact he let HAM pass him at turn 1.
        The track is wide and the straight is long and it’s impossible not to give drivers from behind a tow.
        HAM’s qualifying has been sub par all season – that’s the problem.
        Max has been the better driver for most of the races.
        Criticizing your teammate is a no-no. No excuses for that.

        1. Bottas did in fact do something wrong. The racing line was on his left and he should have claimed it for himself immediately. As we saw with Max’s entry into T1, the racing line was where the grip was and being on it gave the driver the ability to out brake those on the middle of the track with relative ease. Had Bottas claimed the racing line, Hamilton would have likely pulled up next to him and Max would have had to have gone across the track in order to overtake them. As Toto said, Max would likely have been the race winner but you can’t make things easy for the competition.
          Given that Bottas must have thought through start scenarios, one can only assume that his actions were planned.

          1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            8th November 2021, 16:13

            I thought taking the inside was taking control of the so called “racing line”. Wasn’t that everyone’s arguments all season long when competitors contested with overtakes on the outside?

            Anyways, We all knew starting P1 was a disadvantage at this track with a long and wide rundown to T1. I understand Bottas is usually an easy target for everyone, but I see nothing wrong with what he did. Maybe he played it too safe, but he was clean with his driving and was being a fair competitor. There is also no guarantee that Hamilton would have moved left with Bottas as he had a lot of other cars sniffing up the back side of of Hamilton and he would want to protect that inside. Even if Max was in the middle, Max was already somewhat ahead of Bottas prior to the braking zone so Max would have brakes late still and probably push Bottas wide. The key here is that Bottas lost out a lot on that long run (lack of a draft) and I don’t think it would have mattered all that much if he did cover that left side. It’s all speculation anyways and not fair to point fingers at Bottas as doing something wrong when he didn’t do anything wrong on something so subjective and speculative as this.

        2. If anything, Hamilton should have done more to protect BOT’s lead which would have assured both of them would clear VER and then swap places at an opportune time.
          BTW, the driver on pole has not won since 2016 for a reason.

      3. Probably

      4. Bottas did us all a favor by making sure Hamilton could not drive into Max again.

        1. Lol. Crashtappen is the who crashed with everybody on the grid

          1. Massa disagree with that one 😁

          2. I think Albon disagrees also

  2. Maybe next time out qualify your number 2 instead of whining about their start.

  3. That’s not exactly an ideal way to treat someone who has helped ya a lot in the past….

    Hamilton should have taken pole in order to determine the start positioning better, instead of blaming the easy victim……

    1. A great driver but a small person.

      1. Great driver is even debatable, let’s go back to 2013: who would consider hamilton one of the best drivers ever? A top driver for sure, but not one of the best, so he’s been carried by the dominant mercedes.

        1. This is what I always consider: average Bottas championship finish in Merc is about 2nd-3rd. Bottas was never the second or third best driver on the grid. So, I tend to discount any of Hamiltons acheivements by the same rate as I would it would be required to find Bottas on his proper place.
          Add to that the Russell Bahrein factor. The guy had never score points and immediately become a race winner – if not by the pit stop error.
          Finally, compare who Prost had to beat for getting 50wins to the competiton on Hamiltons 100.
          So, yes, Hamilton is a good driver but not the gift from the gods the Mercedes dominance made appparent.

        2. If you repeat this enough times, you’ll end up believing it. But others like me considered him a great talent right from the time he burst onto the scene in 2007 and in 2013, we suspected that if Mercedes came good in the new era, he’d obliterate the field. Which he duly did. Nothing you say will ever change that.

          1. His loss to ROS is the biggest ding to his disputed level of greatness.
            Claiming he had one more DNF does not change the fact he lost.

          2. Davethechicken
            9th November 2021, 12:14

            Indeed he did John. Meanwhile Max lost to the mighty (lol) Riccardo season after season at RBR, having been a similar level to Sainz at TR.
            That too is a “fact”

  4. Three articles, which one shall we pick to centralise the discussion under?

    1. Whichever one you’d like to

  5. I think Bottas didn’t realise Verstappen was on his left until he was too close to shut the door any further and presumably didn’t think the Red Bull was capable of outbreaking the Mercedes to the extent it did. Either way pointing the finger at him – not just Hamilton, but Wolff too is a little unfair.

    1. What’s really interesting is that this sport changes dramatically within 24h…
      It was just yesterday that Red Bull got surprisingly (based on FP’s) outpaced by Mercedes and also they were furious with Tsunoda’s handling of the final minutes of Q3.

      Just a day later, Mercedes & Hamilton seem to be quite annoyed at Bottas for not keeping Verstappen at bay and their race outcome definitely didn’t satisfy them.

      F1 is a tough business and with the championship at the wire, we are gonna see a lot o these type of comments within the next 2 races

  6. I sincerely hope somehow his words are out of context. To publicly criticize a person that has endured so much, as openly being treated as a second driver and gone out of their own race to help yours is in bad taste to say the least. I think you can say whatever you want about Bottas, but that guy is not a dirty driver. He focuses on his own race, tries to help the team whenever he can, but without unnecessarily impeding a rival (I genuinely believe the earlier incident where he took our Max was just a driver error). As such those comments should have been made in private. Maybe next time start at P1 and do the job yourself.

    1. “I sincerely hope somehow his words are out of context. To publicly criticize a person that has endured so much, as openly being treated as a second driver and gone out of their own race to help yours is in bad taste to say the least.”

      Oh, you mean like calling someone a dumb idiot?

      1. N Over the radio, which only becomes public at F1’s behest, as opposed to publicly in interviews after the race, not that I have a problem with either. I don’t think LH said anything that wasn’t factual.

        1. So you think it was BOT’s fault?

          1. John Not sure it’s me you’re asking that of, but I don’t know if it’s either ‘fault’ or ‘blame’ but rather just VB could have done something better, but as far as I am concerned this is about what VB’s level of racecraft is. He didn’t position himself as well as he could have, and he also braked early, certainly at least compared to Max, and that is typical VB imho. I don’t find LH’s or TW’s words particularly harsh or that blamey at least not in some big finger pointing way and laying LH’s race result on his (VB’s) shoulders. I think that’s because they know ultimately that they weren’t going to do anything about Max anyway over the long haul. And they know this is typical VB driving when in close quarters.

    2. +1 – well said

    3. I’m with you on this. I choose to believe that these quotes were taken out of context because otherwise it’s just an absurd way to talk about VB, whether it’s what Lewis said or what Toto said.

      If they weren’t taken out of context – I wish there was a video of where each of them said these things, including whatever questions/prompts from the reporters lead to these statements – then it would seem that they’re showing their true feelings about VB, in which case it makes me wonder how they’ll be with GR next year.

      1. Russell is gonna put hamilton on his place, he’ll do a leclerc imo.

        1. @esploratore1 I’m bullish on Russell’s chances as well, all things being equal.

          I should add that I watched the post-race press conference which is where Lewis made his comments about Bottas and I have to say that the written version comes off as much harsher than it seemed when he was speaking.

        2. @esploratore1, a couple races ago they had an in-car of Russell doing a lap and he only took his hands of the wheel once to make an adjustment and that was when he finished the lap and came onto the pit straight. The top drivers like Hamilton make adjustments at almost every corner. Russell has a long way to go and a lot to learn before he will be challenging Hamilton. Like Bottas he may be able to challenge during qualifying, but he’ll probably be way off during the race.

          1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            8th November 2021, 16:41

            Russell did just fine in Bahrain last year filling in for Lewis. Making adjustments every corner doesn’t correlate to faster laps. Just sayin. Plus, you are taking anecdotal data to conclude that. That is one lap of how many these guys have complete? Lets not put the carriage ahead of the horse on this.

          2. @flyingferrarim, and taking Russell’s result from one race at a track that is not typical is what? Making adjustments throughout the race among other things is how a driver prolongs the life of his tires, which Lewis is quite accomplished at. The point being that Russell has a long way to go before he’s able to compete at the same level as Lewis.

          3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            9th November 2021, 17:20

            I agree Lewis is a very accomplished at extending stints if not one of the better drivers at that. Prolonging life of tires is only one aspect of a race and making wheel adjustments isn’t the key indicator here. Majority of the settings are related to engine/drivetrain performance and would only benefit taking care of the rear tires to some degree. The biggest adjustment to prolonging tire life comes down to the drivers themselves and the inputs they make via wheel and pedals. So, to my point. The number of wheel adjustments are irrelevant here. Russell will have three full seasons in F1 and would be, by all accounts, considered very experienced. Now, no doubt, Russell still has room to grow and prove himself. My argument here is merely that you can not factually say Russell will be incapable to out perform/challenge Lewis in races based on that alone. We have seen Leclerc out perform Vettel. We have seen Vettel out perform Webber. And so on. I get that Lewis is one of the best all time F1 drivers, but even he is human and eventually will be over taken by someone faster and younger. We see this all the time. Even Schumacher, as great as he was, saw a decline in his abilities at the tail end of his career. As good as these drivers are, they are human and no one can beet the effects of time/age. Even Alonso has lost a touch of pace, but he (like Lewis) can use their experience to out fox others to make up that gap. Even then, there will be a point where that experience won’t be enough.

      2. There is nothing out of context. Just rewatch the post race interview by coulthard.

    4. The championship is also about winning as CONSTRUCTOR @ Mercedes #£€$#. Totto Wolf and Lewis Hamilton views were to remind Valtery Bottas about the fact that his current salary comes from Team Mercedes and not Red Bull.
      Yes, Valtery Bottas ought to have closed the doors to Max Verstapen and Red Bull on this occasion.
      There was a legitimate expectation for at least a Mercedes 1 – 2 leading the race pass the first corner and for Valtery Bottas’ présence at the front within the 3 cars.

  7. Suddenly he’s not anymore “the best teammate he’s ever had” huh?

    1. Exactly. Even on Saturday they were piling on praise… What happened to ” We win together and we lose together”?
      Extremely unsporting losers…

      1. So stating some facts is now prohibited in ur book? What did he say? He said that BOT left the door open to VER which is shockingly true, I’m still puzzled. Why did he do this? A driver with his experience shouldn’t make such mistakes, he gave up the racing line while in the lead!

    2. Not after he left the door open he’s not

  8. What’s really interesting is that this sport changes dramatically within 24h…
    It was just yesterday that Red Bull got surprisingly (based on FP’s) outpaced by Mercedes and also they were furious with Tsunoda’s handling of the final minutes of Q3.

    Just a day later, Mercedes & Hamilton seem to be quite annoyed at Bottas for not keeping Verstappen at bay and their race outcome definitely didn’t satisfy them.

    F1 is a tough business and with the championship at the wire, we are gonna see a lot o these type of comments within the next 2 races

    1. That was intended to be an individual comment and not a reply to @rocketpanda

      1. ^^

        Just shows how quickly things can change. I think there’s going to be quite a few stings left in this tale before it’s over.

        1. Yeah, i think we will see some dramatic events happening, especially with a sprint race coming up in less than a week. Whether it was a coincidence or not, in the 2 previous times we had this new format the pair collided…

  9. petebaldwin (@)
    7th November 2021, 22:55

    Regardless of what side you’re on here, does anyone think this is going to motivate Bottas to help Hamilton for the remainder of the season? Both Lewis and Toto blaming him despite admitting they didn’t have the pace to win anyway? I know if I was Bottas, I’d be thinking something along the lines of “alright…. you’re on your own son.”

    1. I would expect that too

  10. Mercedes are the new (ron dennis) mclaren, despicable.

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th November 2021, 23:08

    Sadly, Lewis is right. Bottas just rolled out the red carpet for Max. Second time he’s done that.

    1. Funnily enough, I was thinking the same before I hear Lewis’ comments. Bottas had one job, to keep Verstappen behind at all costs, but he seemed more interested in Hamilton to me. Bit weird.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        8th November 2021, 2:38

        @eurobrun yeah, he made no effort to defend or try to keep the lead… Same story as always..

      2. I think Bottas was trying to get Lewis in front of him as Lewis was on the wrong side on the very dirty point of the track. He could do much against Max as his start was great and with the town was on his left before he knew it.

    2. Seems logical. Can you imagine being Lewis team mate? Seeing a nr of victories going to him, being celebrated by him while you have the knowledge from within the team that it could have easily been you. Or you were actually better but werent allowed to win. Bottas is going to do zero for Lewis. Just as Rosberg would. Just as Alonso would.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        8th November 2021, 12:31

        I think Bottas had more chances than any driver joining a top team. He simply hasn’t made the most of it. If anyone’s to blame for his results over the yeas, it’s Bottas. You can’t blame another driver for besting you over 5 seasons.

        As for the team, Bottas owes the team. That seat was the most coveted seat in F1 and they chose to give it to him. They’ve won so many championships but this year things are tough and they need Bottas to give it his best, not allow 2 Red Bulls past when he’s on pole by Turn 1.

  12. VB has nothing to lose now with the team and can seriously retaliate for the obnoxious comments by LH and TW anywhere in the next few races. Punt the other Merc out and ruin both their WCC and WDC chances, Valtteri. And make it look like and accident.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th November 2021, 2:40

      I think he should leave on a high note. Winning the WCC this year is a big deal for Mercedes. He should give it everything he has. Otherwise, he’s going to regret it for the rest of his life.

    2. He could take out Lewis in the last race but he isn’t that kind of driver. But he could and would have a good motive for it.

      1. What would that motive be?

        1. Getting the shaft is a bad motivator and getting yelled at while trying to help Lewis is really to be furious over. But Luckly for Lewis that isn’t how Bottas is like.

  13. He is 100% correct. For some reason Bottas seemed to defend against Hamilton, keeping both their cars on the dirtier side and leaving clean path wide open to Verstappen, who was then able to carry more speed and brake later. Astonishing…

    1. Yup, I saw this too. Its weird, cos baring a Hamilton retirement, Bottas will not be allowed to challenge for a win for Mercedes ever again.

      1. Bottas will not be allowed to challenge for a win for Mercedes ever again.

        Hahaha, funny.

  14. Bottas had pole, got a good start, decided not to take the racing line whilst in the lead, and then let not 1 but 2 RBs past him in the first corner. Mercedes might want to bring in a reserve driver for the next race or they will be out of the constructors championship.

    1. What? Bottas outperformed perez all year long, how can you say they can’t win the constructor with him?

      1. Perez is driving better now and bottas is uninterested in helping the team, as his future is guaranteed.

        Mercedes should release him and bring Russell for the remaining races.

        1. That would humiliate Lewis, so never going to happen

        2. That would be very interesting for the fans, but I doubt it’s going to happen.

        3. Please do then Max would be champion as George would never let Lewis by.

          1. erik (@nigelhamilton)
            9th November 2021, 13:12

            that all depends on where the team and No.1 team driver is in the championship. No doubt he’s an amazing talented driver however let’s keep in mind he’s hired as the No.2 Driver of the Mercedes team.

        4. As Bottas has a new drive thanks to Toto’s help and isn’t Toto his manager? Either way he could be burning a lot of bridges if he pulls another stunt like this.

  15. I’m guessing that if Bottas had covered the outside line and Verstappen had managed to get through on the inside, then Hamilton would instead be complaining that Bottas let him through on the inside.
    I think the simple fact is that Verstappen is driving at such a high level (and has been all year) and Hamilton is really feeling the pressure for a change. I don’t recall any other drivers hitting a pit wall this year…

    1. true the track is wide enough to have 4 cars width on it.

  16. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I watched Bottes move over to the inside of the track, he gave the fast starting Verstappen a dream run to the lead. As soon as I seen Verstappen take the lead and the result of the contact between Bottas and Ricciardo I knew Verstappen had the race pretty well locked in.
    Also If Bottas had held the line as he was entitled to, he would not have the incident with Ricciardo. He has made it an up hill battle for Hamilton now, plus the WCC that Mercedes sees as equally important is now also on the line.
    After five years as a reliable team mate it looks as if he’ll leave on a low.

    1. Not only that, but according to Horner, Verstappen had been practicing his start and braking on the warmup lap. This means anyone could see what Max had in mind, and what his prefered racing line would be, so why wasn’t this passed to Bottas?

      Im sure Max would have been more caucious into that first corner if he was forced off the racing line into the middle of the track.

    2. Well, this cant be a big surprise. Bottas has no place in that car, just got it since his manager also happened to run the Mercedes team. He has never gotten to the Hulkenberg/Perez level of drivers but was hugely flattered (as was Lewis) by the car. I do not expect any racing skills of him, ever as he has never ever shown them. He is just fast because of the car and only when there is nobody around.

      1. Davethechicken
        9th November 2021, 7:28

        The Perez/Hulkenberg level? You mean who get sacked and can’t get a drive anywhere else in F1? He is not there yet.
        Did you ever consider why RBRs second driver is someone nobody else on the grid would employ?

  17. By bowling out both RedBull in Hungary, he helped already enough this season. If Verstappen wins this championship, Lewis has only himself to blame.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! 👍🏻

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th November 2021, 12:40

      @xenomorph91 @macleod you mean Lewis should blame himself for losing to the car and driver that’s won 9 races so far and could have won 13 to 15. The only reason there’s a championship contest at this point is because of Lewis.

      1. @freelittlebirds
        I don’t agree with you. Lewis has his luck on his side (thinking getting lapped and end second because of a safety car or fixing his car under red in Silverstone.. Baku is his to blame… not sure this is correct spelled.

        Could Max have win 13-15 if you put Baku, Hungary and Silverstone in it maybe but there were races a second was maximal to score.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th November 2021, 13:14

          @macleod Max had a chance to win a few more races than the ones you mentioned.

          1. So did Lewis, but he screwed up big time.
            It’s not what could have happened but what did happen.
            The better driver wins more races, not a surprise 😲

          2. Erikje says “The better driver wins more races, not a surprise”.
            Yet, somehow, this doesn’t apply to the driver with a century of wins 🤗

    3. erik (@nigelhamilton)
      9th November 2021, 18:22

      Not to mention the brain fade crash he had in Monaco this season

  18. He left the door wide open? On that part of the track they could drive 4 or 5 wide on the track before going into the first turn. You cannot block all that comes from behind with too much speed with the 2 Mercedes cars.

    Lewis was being passed on his side too, if Bottas had gone more to the Verstappen side Checo could have pushed through. The track was just too wide, Bottas would made himself three cars wide, which is physically impossible.

    1. This is true. If Bottas moved to the left to block Verstappen, Checo would have filled the space where Bottas opened it up.

  19. How anyone can criticise Hamilton for agreeing with the interviewer is beyond me. ” but obviously he left the door open for Max”.

    Even when we only see the answer, its possible picture the question which led to that answer.
    Are we saying Hamilton should not have answered that question …

    “were you surprised how easy it was for Max to get by?”

    Hamilton and Wolf were only answering the questions put to them.

    1. Thanks for the context,in view of the time I switched off just after the finish. Seems a lot of other commentators here did too.

    2. You don’t have to agree with the interviewer. Your answers are your sole responsibility

      1. So lying?

        1. It’s Mercedes, the truth is optional there.

    3. He could say that he would see the situation back as where he was couldn’t comment on it.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th November 2021, 12:53

      There’s nothing to criticize. Bottas almost let the Red Bulls go by as if there were blue flags being waved. It was hard to watch. That was clear as day. I’m one of the very few people here who have defended Bottas over the years and provided analysis on his performance but even I have to say, you need to close the door.

      It doesn’t matter who it is… If you’re on pole, you have to fight for your position. You can’t roll the red carpet out and be overtaken by 2 Red Bulls into Turn 1 when you’re fighting for the WCC and WDC for your team. Eventually, he let the entire grid pass him which was fitting and hardly a surprise.

      There are 1,500 people that work for Mercedes, not to mention Bottas’s own fans who have trouble accepting this type of behavior. It’s very demoralizing and I can only imagine working with him and being in a meeting with him. It’s such a blow when the team needs to work together and you’re scoring own goals.

      Perez and Max are working great together. Perez is happy to win races, podiums, and a WCC. Bottas looks like he’s offended at this point that he has to settle for wins, podiums, and a WCC. If only he knew what a privilege it is to be in that position.

      1. It was hard to watch.

        And the season is not over yet.
        I mentioned this in the first part of the season. You know, when according to you max is still a “hype”.

  20. Here’s a fun thought…maybe next time outqualify the driver who is your no.2 before throwing them under the bus. If you were on pole, you could have had matters in your own hands for longer.

    1. Why can’t they both be true? Hamilton should have done a better job in qualifying, but that doesn’t excuse Bottas’ terrible awareness and decision making.

  21. The only way Lewis could have won was if Bottas had been between him and Max and delayed Max substantially. In my opinion had it been Lewis 1st Max 2nd after the first corner, Max would still have won the race. He was simply way to fast today, just as Lewis has been in previous seasons. It is great to see the fastest driver win and right now Max is the fastest.

  22. Its also worth noting that Lewis aimed across to his left at the start, so Bottas would have been looking at that and probable missed where Max was as he thought the race was with Lewis at that point, and why shouldn’t he race Lewis?

    1. That is exactly what bottas does, look right twice to see where Lewis is and allow him through. Then he looks left and it’s already to late as Max is on his side already

  23. I think Lewis is upset because unlike Silverstone he could not tap Max’s right rear this time. Bottas was in the way:)

  24. And Max showed himself in Bottas’s right mirror for a bit before moving left. So again Bottas would have been looking to his right for either Lewis or Max to try pass, Lewis and Bottas were ensuring there was no gap for him between the two Mercs. I think Lewis and Bottas tried to block the road and Max simple drove around them.

  25. Schadenfreude

  26. Bottas was trying to cover the inside as well of the remaining track. You don’t always have to aggressively swipe against other drivers to get ahead. Also IF bottas could’ve been a bit more aggressive during braking that would have potentially caused a championship ruining crash.

  27. Bottas was been your bitch slave for 5 seasons, Lewis. Giving up victories for you. Don’t you’ll ever forget that.

  28. Bottas seema too interested in fighting lewis than fighting others. Why did bottas move over to the inside leaving the clean racing line open for verstappen? Why did he brake first? He shud hv been a last of the brakers forcing verstappen wide. Is he that ignorant or just plain dumb? Or maybe he too doesnt want to see lewis win another championship.

    1. He wasn’t fighting Lewis he break earlier to let Lewis pass as Lewis is on the dirt. And he didn’t move from the racing line he went straight but didn’t think Max would overtake him from the left. Then Max was on the racing line that straight is very long.

  29. We win and lose together – except when we lose, then that’s Valtteri (source…this article) and the car’s (source – See the Drivers reaction video on the F1 youtube channel) fault.

  30. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    8th November 2021, 8:15

    I don’t see what realistically Valterri could have done. He can’t block Max the track is too wide, sending the long way round the outside like he did is basic defending 101.

    1. Suggesting the fault was not Valtteri’s, so Lew was not perfect? Anathema.

    2. @rdotquestionmark From these comments I wonder if Mercedes were expecting Bottas to engage in some Silverstone-style drifting wide to prevent Verstappen from making the move around the outside stick. Valterri often gets criticism for “poor racecraft” but in this case I think the complaint is that he’s a cleaner driver.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        8th November 2021, 9:01

        @red-andy Sounds like they asked him to follow some script that he hasn’t.

      2. Isn’t this exactly what Max did in Austin? Except Lewis held his nerve and sneaked through.

        1. Ah, missed that one. That must be the reason he won at cota… Oh wait…
          He did not :)

  31. MB must have discussed the start strategy with Bottas and Lewis. To me it looks like Bottas was told to keep Max on the outside, block him and let Hamilton pass on the inside. It just didn’t work out that way for MB. So don’t start crying after the race and blame Bottas for it.

  32. I think his focus was mostly on gifting Lewis his place in the first corner, hence the early braking. As was probably agreed within Mercedes.
    But due to his poor race craft and clean driving, he couldn’t keep Verstappen behind.
    I also think Wolff and Hamilton wouldn’t mind if Bottas took out Verstappen, but doing that intentionally is not Bottas’ style.
    He’s a quick driver, but a bad racer. In the previous years, due to the Mercedes superiority, he could qualify 1st or 2nd and bring it in on 2nd. But now, if he drops within the pack, he’s lost.

    1. Exactly, “He’s a quick driver, but a bad racer.” and has been a poor overtaker and defender for some considerable time. Its a shame, as he is fast and seems a decent bloke and team player BUT unfortunately not a great racer.

      1. Even as the race unfolded and he was trying to pass DR he was braking way too early and wasn’t trying very hard at all to make a move on DR…like he was just waiting for the easy drs opportunity.

  33. He indeed did.

  34. People: We don’t like PR soundbites, we want drivers to speak their minds:
    Lewis says something non-PR and entirely truthful.
    The same people: Oh the gall! Sore loser, pathetic etc

    1. @sebsronnie
      It’s because 99% of the time Hamilton delivers some PR rubbish likes ‘Valterri is the quickest and best teammate I’ve ever had’, but the other 1% of the time (usually when Hamilton has lost), he criticises the team, or he criticises his teammate; anyone but himself.
      That’s why people don’t like him, he’s either a fake PR machine or acts like a sore loser. There’s none of the same forthrightness with Hamilton as other drivers Alonso, Verstappen, Raikkonen, who speak their mind the majority of the time.

      1. Kimi speaks? :)

        1. If you deny him the drink!

  35. Jimmy Fairweather
    8th November 2021, 11:08

    Lewis cannot win without a wingman and Bottas is playing his own game now. Mercedes will lose both championships now. I do feel however this is Red Bulls last hurrah for Honda and are throwing everything at this year to beat Mercedes, next year it might come back to bite them.

    1. Hamilton won at least 2 titles with little to no aid from the 2nd driver in ’08 and ’18.
      I agree that they are likely losing both championships as Perez improved tremendously and Bottas doesn’t seem to care anymore. Perez may even steal the 3rd place this last races.

  36. Hamilton is such a bad looser.

  37. Lewis is not a bad loser he appreciates and acknowledges when a competitor is faster. He said it during the race he congratulated red bull also after the race. How is that being a sore loser?

  38. Let’s review. Max wanted P3 if he couldn’t have P1 as it sets you up for the optimal racing line in turn 1.
    Hamilton’s comment according to this article is “I had envisaged it differently, naturally, in the sense that Valtteri maybe would get a better start and I would have tried to get into his tow”
    I don’t think Lewis is “envisaging” this but that this was planned by Mercedes.
    Bottas is already out the door so he didn’t follow the plan. It was hot. Bottas hates the black uniform as it is hotter than the lighter color uniforms. Hamilton forced the team to switch. Hamilton gets the tow. etc, etc, etc.

  39. How about try putting it on pole next time instead of getting out qualified by your teammate that’s been dumped, that way you could have blocked Verstappen yourself instead of relying on others.

    1. Bottas fan club now bursting with fresh applications lol. No one disagrees with Hamilton but people still vex, because Hamilton.

      Bottas was trying to let Hamilton through. But as on the road yielding the right of way often ends in tears. But it doesn’t matter, rbr was so fast verstappen would have won easily anyway.

  40. Toto Wolff always emphasizes no blame policy in Mercedes, this doesnt sound anything like that Toto!

  41. “And doesn’t he KNOW that Valtteri’s sole job is to block for ME?!”

  42. I haven’t read all the comments, but here are my few cents: I have no idea what Bottas could have done differently. Had he gone to the left on the straight, Verstappen would’ve moved to the right, and the had the inside-ish line for T1. If Hamilton is criticizing Bottas for not braking late enough, he could’ve done so himself as well. Maybe the Red Bull was just simply better under brakes for T1, and could sail past the outside?

    Or was Bottas actually supposed to do to Verstappen was Ricciardo did to Bottas?

  43. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    8th November 2021, 15:48

    Personally, this “racing line” discussion is absolute rubbish. Folks argue that the “inside” line is “taking” the racing line to the corner. NOW, its the outside? This is so laughable. This just proves how stupid the talk around taking the “racing line” into account on overtakes really is and how it has nothing to do with it. Its rather simpler than that, give racing room when fellow competitors are a long side. Now, onto the main article after my little rant. I see nothing wrong with what Bottas does as typically the inside line is usually the shortest, quickest, and safest line to take in corners. I think Bottas was just concerned with getting through the first set f corners without losing out too much considering the long run to T1. We all knew holding P1 was going to be close to impossible to defend. Especially when considering the width of the track. You can argue he played it a little safe but he was the meat in the sandwich. See the Ocon, Schumacher, Yuki situation and tell me how that panned out. Toto and Lewis pointing the finger at Bottas the way they are is rather disappointing and shows how Merc really is like when they actually have competition. Merc obviously have gotten too comfortable from all their success. From a Ferrari fan…. Go RedBull!! Go Max!! Get it done!

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      8th November 2021, 16:17

      Just to add and be clear about my racing line rant. It not about the racing line but about car positioning and who has more leverage or control in that situation. In most instances, the inside car is better positioned and has more control of the situation. Nothing to do with who takes the so called racing line.

  44. Verstappen has taken the lead in Mexico on pretty much all sides of the track in this and previous year’s races. There’s only so much space you can cover off with two cars as the track at that point is just shy of 15 meters wide.

    Also consider the precarious situation Bottas found himself in; right in between the two title contenders. Add that both he and Hamilton have already been penalized for bumping into others during an opening lap this year, and it’s not a bad thing he took a cautious approach this time.

    1. Jerry Thompson
      8th November 2021, 20:01


  45. Lewis, maybe be next time don’t get beaten by team mate in quali and do the job yourself.

  46. Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say…

    Please someone send him Pink Floyd ‘Time’ single

  47. Hamilton and Wolff both come off and prima donnas and sore losers, regardless of the whether Bottas was ‘guilty’ or not. Their whining is disgusting.

  48. Jerry Thompson
    8th November 2021, 19:57

    Easy to see what happened. Bottas was following team orders to let Hammy pass him into the first corner and he was so busy making sure Hammy got past him that he didn’t pay attention to his left. Then when Hammy got into the corner first, Bottas braked early to cover Hammy’s behind and was tagged by Ricardo. The Merc is only so wide and the first corner is probably the widest on the circuit so with both mirrors full of yellow noses, he guessed which yellow nose to block and it was the wrong one.

  49. Bottas was supposed tp stay left lewis who was along side bottas wud have covered the centre part of the track. Verstappen would have had to go extreme right of lewis taking the inside line which would have forced him to brake earlier. Instead bottos stayed in The middle. Braked first which he should have not done because he failed to defend against verstappen. And destroyed his own race.

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