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Featured Valtteri Bottas - World Championship Challenger or Able Support Act?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

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    Will Mercedes allow Bottas to fight.jpg
    With a win last time out vaulting the Finnish star into the championship battle, can Bottas genuinely fight for the title, or will Mercedes deploy him in a supporting role to Hamilton?

    If you asked around the Formula One paddock in January, very few people would have placed any money on last minute Mercedes recruit Valtteri Bottas taking the fight to team number one Lewis Hamilton this season, but with nine races down that is exactly what the low key Finn has done during the opening rounds of the 2017 Grand Prix season.

    With two race victories against his much more established team mates three, and sitting pretty in the drivers championship a mere 15 points behind Hamilton in P2, Valtteri Bottas has done a remarkable job of silencing some of his many critics heading into his first season away from the family environment of his former Williams team.

    Not only has Bottas done a solid job of matching the #44 Mercedes in race trim this year, Bottas has show a blinding turn of speed when the cars hit the track on Saturday afternoons, wrestling his AMG Mercedes car into front row starts on three occasions, beating Hamilton on four of those sessions and proving that both savvy race craft and outright single lap pace are both well within the drivers new found set of skills.

    Breaking into the Mercedes tight knit community this year can't have been an easy task for Bottas, with the team having enjoyed some incredible success with Hamilton and former team mate Nico Rosberg since coming back into the sport at the beginning of 2010. With three Drivers World Championships and numerous race wins for Hamilton already in the bag, plus a kings ransom salary enjoyed by the Englishman, will Mercedes be willing to allow the new kid on the block a chance at fighting for the title this season, potentially diluting the overall chances of a team up against a newly resurgent Ferrari squad who have firmly backed their own multiple World Champion, Sebastian Vettel?

    For many years Ferrari operated a very obvious number 1 / number 2 system in Maranello, to the benefit and tremendous success of one Michael Schumacher, and no doubt with a Kimi Räikkönen obviously past the best form of his career, 2017 could be another opportunity for the Prancing Horse to do such a thing again and give itself the best chance of securing a much coveted first WDC since Räikkönen in 2007.

    No doubt the spectacular way in which McLaren threw away the championship in '07 by allowing then team mates Hamilton and Alonso to fight it out to the very end will be uppermost in the minds of both teams this season, but will Mercedes allow itself to compromise their 'let them race' strategy of years past?

    These kinds of decisions have always been easier when one has easily the best car on the grid, as have Mercedes in recent seasons, but now the heat is really on the silver cars will a fair battle between the two drivers be allowed again this year, or do the team place the full support of the organisation behind a driver that has proven times many he is capable of taking the fight to the very best?

    What do you think they should do... ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  2. k_badam

    k_badam
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    i mean, they let Rosberg and Hamilton fight it out, so i don't see why not ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
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  3. JoãoBessaM

    JoãoBessaM
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    They had both the WDC and the constructors championship guaranteed from the word go, so they had nothing to lose, I don't see them doing that this year, plus Hamilton's ego won't allow it
     
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  4. CMGARAGE

    CMGARAGE
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    If anything, he should be supporting Hamilton not Abel.

    "OK, so, Abel is faster than you"
     
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  5. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu
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    Not every team is Ferrari.

    Mercedes has the title in the pocket since Raikkonen's races keep being ruined by phony dubious strategies again and again. They have no reason whatsoever to treat Bottas like his unfortunate fellow citizen.
     
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  6. Neilski

    Neilski
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    Should they? Hell yes.
    Will they? Mmmm, probably not.
     
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  7. mrbungle83

    mrbungle83

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    I imagine most of that team would prefer Bottas to win, a genuine respectful guy. Can he beat Hamilton... Yes but he needs Hamilton`s car to be unreliable, he doesn't have the pace in most of the races.

    If Hamilton gets a reliable car Vettle is his competition in my opinion.

    If i had my way, Ferrari and Mercedes reliability would be worse than max verstappens car and Ric would win, id love to see him in the same car as Vettle again, we all know what happend last time.
     
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  8. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    Oooops! Lol, late night finger trouble :p
     
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  9. Terry Rock

    Terry Rock

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    I've always liked this kid's character.
    He seems to genuinely get on with the business of driving the car...no drama and no flash.
    I like that he's always calm under pressure and seems very polite without being a push-over.
    I don't believe Mercedes would handicap Bottas at this stage. There would be no point to it.
    Bottas winning in that car would also be Mercedes' bargaining chip at next salary negotiations with Lewis.
    These things always come back to money.
    If Lewis can't win this thing, I wouldn't be unhappy to see Bottas crowned.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  10. Ricardo Rey

    Ricardo Rey
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    Another Weber-Vettel situation?
     
  11. Patrik Marek

    Patrik Marek

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    I would love them to give him a fair chance, but I doubt they will

    I think, and this is just my un-educated oppinion, that behing Rosberg was quite a bit of money and his father was respected figure, so I think that made it possible to have him fight with Lewis , and let's not foget that it took few seasons too! the first season I don't think he was given a go at having a fight at title

    so yeah, I do not expect them to allow him to fight it out , unless Hamilton has another 2-3 bad races and then Bottas would have quite a few more points over him

    we shall see
     
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  12. rubaru

    rubaru

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    If we forget Spain when Bottas was a DNF, it's Hamilton 4 - 4 Bottas at the line, and they are 5-4 in qualifying. When they are putting up the same performance over the season, why are we talking about favoring Hamilton? He's clearly not the better driver.
     
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  13. samcar304

    samcar304
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    Yeah Similar to 2007 when Lewis whipped Alonso, Strange circumstances how 2 champions got outperformed by their new teammates. I get Ricciardo was in F1 for like 3 years prior but still...
     
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  14. howitzer155mm

    howitzer155mm

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    I have no doubt in Bottas' ability, probably the most satisfying team switch I have ever witnessed. In Williams I always saw him as a pretty decent driver with an okay car. But I knew the moment I heard he was scoped out by Mercedes that there would be a new contender.
     
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  15. Tobiman

    Tobiman
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    From my point of view, Mercedes wants as many 1-2 finishes as possible regardless of whoever ends up ahead. Lewis is proven so he gets paid more but when push comes to shove in a constructors title fight or driver standings, the team will make the call that favors them.

    Vettel would rather commit sepoku before that happens. it's been said multiple times that Vettel & Alonso like to have clauses in their contract regarding their teammates. One of the reason why Massa and Alonso had a sour relationship. I also doubt Vettel would be leading said championship with Ricciardo at the wheel of a Ferrari.
     
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  16. Benutzername

    Benutzername
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    In the '15 questions' thread i even gave the bold statement that Bottas will win the championship.
    Ever since he was testing for Williams i was pretty impressed by him and followed his results and rooted for him.


    I dont understand why soooo many people portrayed him as a second driver and always mentioned the 'team order'.
    It was just a logical thing to do for a team in that race. They were on different strategies, Hamilton was faster because of that and had a chance to catch another car. Bottas never could have hold him anyway, so he let him through without fighting. End of story.

    The two were pretty equal so far, despite the fact that Bottas needed a bit time to know the team.

    He certainly is a contender.
     
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  17. Celestiale

    Celestiale
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    I doubt Hamilton would be leading Merc driver if Vettel, Ricciardo or Max Verstappen would be his teammates...
     
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  18. Patrik Marek

    Patrik Marek

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    which is why I'm excited to see Vettel winning this year and Botas coming in solid second
     
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  19. hitm4k3r

    hitm4k3r

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    At the end of the 2007 season Alonso and Hamilton were equal on points. If that means that he whipped Alonso, then we have a different understanding of what that actually means. Hamilton ended up in second position because he had one second place more - so they were both equal on the number of wins aswell.

    Despite Hamilton having big talent without any question, I consider Bottas to be on the same level this year and I don't see a reason why he should act as a support driver. And not just because Hamilton got an unreliable car, but for the fact that Bottas has beaten Hamilton on track for the victory two times so far with Hamilton simply being unable to setup his car and to find the speed. If you consider the colissions with Kimi, you know where both Fins lost their ground in the current fight for the title, so at the end Hamilton and Bottas had their fair share of bad luck. Hamilton might be the quicker driver when you look at the sheer speed, but we all know that this isn't everything.
     
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  20. Tobiman

    Tobiman
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    What info are you using to back-up such a statement? Your gut feeling? lol. All those three you mentioned are top notch drivers. There's no doubting that but If we are to go by past performances, you'd be very wrong. Verstappen is out-qualifying Ricciardo consistently now and the same Ricciardo smashed Vettel.

    Who has had a more reliable season than Hamilton so far. A more reliable & consistent car would have seen Hamilton at least on the podium for monaco and wins in Baku and Austria.
     
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