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Featured Reports of Bottas' Ferrari future spark 2015's 'Silly Season'

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by R.J. O'Connell, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. bottas canada 2015 a.jpg

    Speculation is ramping up that Valtteri Bottas will replace Kimi Raikkonen at Scuderia Ferrari next season - and with it, silly season has officially begun in Formula 1.

    The report comes from Italian magazine Corriere dello Sport, who wrote on Friday that Ferrari are set to buy out the remaining eighteen months of Bottas' contract with Williams Martini Racing at a cost of €12,000,000, allowing Bottas to replace his fellow countryman Raikkonen alongside four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel. This story has already been refuted by Bottas' manager Didier Coton.

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    Raikkonen, who returned to Ferrari in 2014 and has an option in his current two-year contract for the 2016 season, has been underwhelming in his second stint with Ferrari. The 2007 World Champion, who won the title over the McLaren Mercedes superteam of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in his first season with the Scuderia, has as of the most recent British Grand Prix scored only one podium finish in this year's Bahrain Grand Prix, his intra-team statistics in qualifying and race results against fellow World Champions Vettel and Alonso have been unfathomably poor, and he has scored just over half the World Championship points this year as his new teammate Vettel, a race winner in Malaysia already this season.

    Coupled with a three-race streak of spinning or crashing out during a race that continued in Silverstone, even if Raikkonen scores a dominant victory in Hungary next weekend, it is unlikely that his 2016 option will be picked up before the deadline at the end of July. Turning 36 in October and neither willing to nor needing to finish out the string at a lower-ranked team, Raikkonen's F1 career may soon draw to a close.

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    His would-be replacement Bottas has been one of the highest-rated young drivers in the Formula 1 paddock since his racing debut in 2013. Despite missing the Australian Grand Prix due to a back injury sustained in qualifying, Bottas is fourth in the championship in his age 26 season, with a podium finish in Canada currently standing as one of only two podium finishes not scored by a Mercedes-Benz or a Ferrari driver.

    Dating back to 2014, Bottas has seven podium finishes, and he has finished 24 of his last 27 races in the points with only one mechanical retirement in that timeframe. Bottas also boasts a 29-18 head-to-head qualifying record, though he is only three points up on Williams teammate Felipe Massa this season.

    Again, it must be stressed that the deal is far from done, but it would set off a domino effect in the driver transfer market, leaving a very lucrative open seat at Williams Martini Racing that has a wealth of suitable candidates.

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    Though there are a large contingent of supporters who feel Nico Hulkenberg would be a more effective successor to Raikkonen at Ferrari than Bottas, the 27-year-old German has been linked to a possible return to Williams - where he raced in 2010 as a rookie. Since partnering with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Porsche in June, Hulkenberg is on a three-race scoring streak with Force India, who just introduced a heavily revised version of their chassis in Silverstone that looks set to elevate both Hulkenberg and his teammate Sergio Perez back into contention for podium finishes. Currently, Hulkenberg is ninth in the championship, three points back of Daniil Kvyat for eighth.

    A podium has still eluded Hulkenberg in five seasons as a racing driver, but he has a pole position to his name already (Brazil 2010),and boasts a whopping 47-19 head-to-head qualifying success rate since the start of the 2012 season. That said, extensive studies of his race data show trends of inconsistent performance that may be holding Hulkenberg back from a seat at Ferrari - this according to F1 commentator James Allen.

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    Another option that has been suggested is Felipe Nasr, the Brazilian rookie currently driving for Sauber F1 Team. Nasr spent 2014 as the third driver at Williams, coupled with a successful GP2 Series campaign in which he finished third in the championship with four wins. This year, despite a mid-season drop in performance from the Sauber C34, Nasr is still holding onto 11th in the championship, with more championship points than any other rookie - and a season-high fifth place in Australia that cemented Nasr's place as the catalyst of Sauber's turnaround in 2015.

    Williams also has Alex Lynn, the reigning GP3 Series champion, as an option to replace a departing Bottas. The 21-year-old British driver is already a winner in his debut campaign in the GP2 Series for DAMS, though he is a very distant fifth in the series championship. Lynn left the Red Bull Junior Team in the off-season to align himself with Williams, for whom he currently serves as a test and reserve driver.

    Along with the uncertain F1 future of former World Champion Jenson Button, as well as Romain Grosjean's future plans, and the arrival of Haas F1 Team next season, there are many questions that will need a resolution over the months to come. There seems to be real weight to Friday's speculations about Bottas, Raikkonen, and Ferrari - which must command the attention of the Formula 1 world over the weeks and months to come.

    What do you think of the rumors linking Valtteri Bottas to Ferrari? Leave a comment below, and for more Formula 1 discussion, visit our Formula 1 sub-forum.
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  2. I've always been a fan of Bottas but I believe Hulkenburg would be better at Ferrari. I hope we gets a top drive soon as Hulkenburg deserves it
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. As mentioned above Hulkenberg usually takes a while to pick up the pace
    in season and becomes very competitive towards the end. Still, a very good driver.

    Bottas on the other hand only needs a good car to be crowned champion.
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  4. He first has to beat Vettel. ;)
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  5. I also don't think Lynn is the best for Williams at this time. Huge amounts of talent but I feel he should have another year in GP2 to develop as a driver :)
  6. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen
    I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.

    I'm a big fan of Raikkonen, but I do think that his time in F1 is coming to an end. I think he would do better in the WEC or World RX Championship.

    He could hit the ground running in RX, he's got the experience in circuit racing and off road racing, he's perfect for it!
  7. I admit I haven't read it word after word, by why silly season??
  8. I have had this 'stagnation' feeling about F1 for a long time. Do you remember Barrichello racing way past his time? No disrespect to Rubinho, he was a great driver but I always felt he was kept in F1 as a commercial & well loved cash cow/product rather than for his realistic abilities to be competitive. I've had the same feeling about Massa for some time now. It's as if F1, in some respects, holds on to the 'secure' historic reverence of drivers rather than realize & place the new Sennas, Hunts, Prosts & Schumachers. Lewis has brought some fight back into F1, as has Bottas & Perez. But Alonso, Kimi, Jenson? I think we need to put more new blood into the battle. Jenson would be graceful & worldy wise enough to stand down. We need to be realistic. Life is dynamic & the hungry talent is waiting for a shot. Bottas at Ferrari? Why not! Mix the game up a little, take risks, drive. If we hang on to the romanticized 'safe' old names, we have safe racing & pensioners at the wheels of fast cars & the new Sennas, Hunts, Prosts & Schumachers, with different names, will be swept away without recognition. There are no old footballers, just as there are no old old gits on forums like me...oh wait :D

    Here's a thought: If all cars were equal. Equal weight, equal engines, equal design...all coloured grey. Identical in every way. Who would consistently hit the podiums? I know who my money is on. ;)
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. Being a Ferrari fan since I could walk, I'd love to see Hulkenberg take over if Kimi is let go. I enjoy watching him race and like others feel that if he got into the right ride, he'd do just as well as he did at Lemans.
  10. MG


    I think Ricciardo would suit Ferrari well. He is a proven race winner unlike Bottas and if he is given a car worthy of his immense talent he could very well win the championship very soon. Firstly though he needs to free himself of his Red Bull contract and i cannot see Marco letting him go, which is a shame for Daniel.
    Even if he doesnt get the Ferrari drive and he can free himself from Red Bull he would be the logical choice for Williams as he would decimate Massa IMO.
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  12. simracers
  13. Tim.E

    Premium Member

    Bottas should definitely be a very good option for Ferrari. Give him a good car and he'll be beating Vettel all day.
  14. Speculations will remain as is until it is confirmed. But if Ferrari's to pick from Hulk and Bottas, I'd choose Bottas. Hulk can be a good choice if he's got the good setup and consistently at the Top 5 drivers after the race. I'm not gonna be interested with Ricciardo's services for now if I were one of the bosses at Ferrari.
  15. Haha
    I admit Bottas is good, but Vettel won 4 Championships with a fast car.
    Look how Hamilton is winning, not because he's the fastest driver, he has the faster car. They are all equal given the same car.
  16. BOTTAS ****ING SUCKS ! he's a no talent an a ZERO charismatic individual ! my ****ing beard has got more charisma than this brain dead zero talent !

    He never had any result until 2014 and that's not saying much since the only cars that worked last year was the mercedes, the williams and the red bull ! not to mention that Massa got destroyed by many cars last year which helped that no good bottas to shine even more...! dude has got his ass kicked 90% of the time this year by Massa, how the **** we got to the point to be able for people to say this guy has got talent :/... look at the facts ffs !!!!!!!! zero results until 2014 when we got this stupid new changes that got Jules killed btw.... RIP you talented angel. Bottas got beaten by ****ing Pastor the whole time they where teammates! Now he's being again beat by his teammate 90% of the time !!!!!!! the one ****ing podium he got is because of stupid Ferrari.
  17. Someone is a bit biased and angry I think...
  18. Wow's biased ? me saying the truth from hard facts or you saying he's talented when actually he isn't ?
  19. Let's analyse :p

    He has beaten Massa comfortably in 2014 and is ahead of him in 2015, despite doing one less race.

    Yes, he didn't have any results until 2014, because in his rookie season in 2013 he had one of the worst cars of the grid.

    Massa got himself into trouble two times, I don't think that Massa was always unlucky.

    Qualy: MAS 6-3 BOT, Races: BOT 5-3 MAS, 90%, that simple ;)

    I explained why he has no results since 2014, and it is pretty simple. Also talking about Jules is completely irrelevant. Because firstly the changes to the cars made no difference to his crash and secondly, even if they did, it is no "excuse" for someone to do well and be consistently on the podium.

    2013: Qualy: MAL 7-12 BOT, Races: BOT 5-9 MAL. Maldonado 100% success against Bottas. Oh, and getting on the podium is Ferrari's fault. Can you explain why, because I am struggling.

    There is my full answer. Tell me exactly where you disagree.
  20. Well he qualified 3rd in Canada in 2013 in one of the worst cars on the grid so that isn't entirely true ;)