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"No benefit" to mind games insists Valtteri Bottas

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18/01/2021

Valtteri Bottas says he is not a Nico Rosberg, and prefers to do his talking on track as opposed to playing mind games with his teammate.

Of course, before one writes another word, one merely has to point to the fact that Roberg won one title during the three seasons he drove the all-conquering hybrid Mercedes and finished runner-up the other two, while in four seasons there have been no titles and runner-up only twice for Bottas, finishing 3rd in 2017 and 5th in 2018. Furthermore, the German claimed 23 wins during that period and the Finn just nine.

While some feel that Bottas needs to follow Rosberg's example and try to get into the mind of his teammate, The Finn insists that he prefers to do his talking on track.

"We know the fact that if we can work together, that's how the team is going to benefit in the end," Bottas told Motorsport.com. "We can, for sure, race hard, but we can also leave it there. And we know the fact that if we can work together, that's how the team is going to benefit in the end. So there's not going to be any hiding of set-ups or data or anything.

"The team spirit in team sports is underestimated," he added. "I think it's really important that you keep the motivation up, and avoid conflicts.

"Of course, along the way, there's been many people suggest I change to be a Nico Rosberg," he continued. "But I'm not a Nico Rosberg. I much prefer to do the talking on track and race fair.

"I have also been able to get to know Lewis, and I know that there's no benefit of trying to play with his mind. I'm sure it would be annoying for him, but it would be wasting my energy. And I think he will be getting even more pissed off and drive faster.

"So I think the way I'm doing things, that's how I want to win. That is my aim."

Nonetheless, at a time some claim that George Russell's performance in Sakhir is influencing the ongoing contract negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes, Bottas is aware that his future at the German team is also in doubt.

"I'm keen to explore something, you know," said the Finn. "I feel like maybe it's time to try something different.

"Of course, I always look forward to the future, and there will be opportunities. But in this sport, there's not going to be a million opportunities.

"I know that I'm not going to have 15 seasons with Lewis to try to beat him. I know that I really need to try and do it next year," he admitted, referring to 2021.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 19/01/2021 12:50

"@ Flyinglap...Bottas says the same thing each year though. Quite frankly I'm not convinced that Bottas is up to the job and I wouldn't be surprised in there is some rather ambiguous wording in his contract that ensures that even if he did rise to the occasion of mounting a real challenge that he would be 'hobbled'. Mercedes are not paying such obscene levels of money to the one driver who could surpass the Schumacher record!! That will not happen.IMO. "

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2. Posted by flyinglap, 19/01/2021 8:24

"@ kenji... Yes, my mistake. I somehow forgot about it. Anyway, good luck to Bottas for 2021. He will need to extract even more from himself though, consistently, and that also requires being more his own man."

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3. Posted by kenji, 19/01/2021 0:37

"@ Flyinglap...I think you'll find that Wolff stepped down from management of Bottas four years ago. "

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4. Posted by flyinglap, 18/01/2021 18:47

"Bottas, to begin with, is obvioulsy brainwashed by Wolff, who happens to be not only his team boss, but his manager as well, on the side. That in itself would constitute a conflict of interest from the vantage point of the other driver of the team, but in fact it is not because Hamilton must surely have guaranteed 'number one' status both in his own and in Bottas' contract. Otherwise he would not accept to race "on equal terms" against a driver who also happens to be under private management by the team boss. Therefore, there is no real rivalry as such between the two drivers. Bottas simply has the chance to drive the best car in the business for several seasons, and therefore he can be a multiple grand prix winner (when Hamilton has a really off day) while making decent money in the process. Back in Rosberg's days the balance of power was quite different and therefore the Championships score was a quite reasonable 2-1. Do remember that Niki Lauda was still around, as well as Bernie Ecclestone. Instead, during the last seasons we have had Liberty Media as well as the enforcement of a 'progressive' political and corporate agenda at large. Mercedes (Daimler AG) is not quite as 'German' as it used to be, as evidenced by its current shareholder structure and that influences the running of the Formula 1 team as well. Who knows if the latest shareholder structure of the team itself will determine a change of policy regarding the drivers. Personally, I do not think so. Sir Lewis is "the chosen one" and things may change only after he wins his 8th Championship, and a certain George Russell arrives."

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5. Posted by Twisted sister, 18/01/2021 13:46 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 18/01/2021 15:11)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

6. Posted by kenji, 18/01/2021 13:27

"@ Panacea...Cheat? I don't recall the stewards finding that he cheated? Is that your opinion? Truth is neither an opinion, idea or emotion. Truth is binary...it either happened or it didn't happen. To entangle opinion with truth is the beginning of a lie....some people have lots of opinions. Have a very nice day."

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7. Posted by Panacea, 18/01/2021 12:35

"Yes @kenji jcr poor rosberg was tired out and also Lewis couldn't stand him for being a cheat and Toto knew he was a cheat too. So he fled, leaving Lewis and Toto to be mega successful with their 3 way bromance with sweet Valtteri, who is honest and sporting :) Then next year it'll be George."

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8. Posted by kenji, 18/01/2021 11:53

"@ JCR....Yes. i must agree with your comment. @ Panacea...Rosberg fled ignominously!! I suggested earlier that you should revisit the end of the Abu Dhabi race presser. Obviously you haven't done that as it fully explains why Rosberg did leave the nest. He knew that he had Wolff/Hamilton on one side and that would make another year impossible for him. Anyway time to move on....and hopefully something comes up to prevent another boring year. "

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9. Posted by jcr, 18/01/2021 10:42

"Unfortunately PANACEA does not seem interested in any open discussion,
The fact Nico was lucky is all he is interested in. so no point in continuing the discussion.
Over and Out
STAY SAFE !!!
"

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10. Posted by Panacea, 18/01/2021 9:08

"Well @jcr you said 'rosberg is the only driver to put it up to Lewis,' and he didn't put it to Lewis did he, he got very very lucky and then fled ignominiously! Valtteri as I said isn't quite as racy but he is pretty quick and a decent person.

@kenji in Abu Dhabi 2016 the team did tell Lewis to stop backing rosberg up but he was a very naughty boy and wouldn't! So that doesn't really build your argument about the team being madly in love with Lewis, even if that was an argument that makes sense. Which it doesn't. Toto said taking Fernando would've been 'too exciting' so that is how they're doing F1 and it makes perfect sense after all. A team doesn't need two bulls in their china shop taking points off each other and even taking each other out, they want 1-2's all season long.

Which Valtteri gives them pretty perfectly, but still he's only on 1-year contracts after all this time so it's pretty obvious that George is in for 2022."

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11. Posted by kenji, 18/01/2021 0:05

"@ Paanacea...They tried but they couldn't pull it off. Rosberg is a WDC and Hamilton fans can't seem to get over it. If Mercedes were really into full racing competition then they would field a driver that would be capable of beating Hamilton. Give the fans some excitement. When Rosberg retired and Bottas was hired there was a rumour that Ricciardo would be a great talent for Wolff to take on board after Bottas' first year. He was questioned about this and he made the statement, 'I don't want to upset the team equilibrium'! Now what 'equilibrium' was that? It's a well known fact that Ricciardo is a joy to work with as stated by many who have personally worked alongside him. No, Wolff knew that Ricciardo was a threat to Hamilton. Abu Dhabi 2016 was an exhibition of just what the team tactics were when Hamilton tried to back Rosberg into the clutches of Ferrari...thankfully a futile exercise. Mercedes, if they were real racers, would've told Hamilton to speed it up but for them and Hamilton it was preferable that Ferrari beat Rosberg. Now that is a low act. No wonder Rosberg left the team. You really should re watch the post race presser if you are in any doubt. Russell has blown away the 'aura' and it's obvious to many racing fans."

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12. Posted by jcr, 17/01/2021 23:07 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 18/01/2021 15:11)

"Firstly applause to PANACEA for his efforts to educate the great unwashed among us !!.
Unfortunately I think maybe he misunderstood my previous remarks about facts.
Not being a Merc. Fan, one thing I would give them credit for is not doing their dirty laundry in public.
i.e. all the stats about Rosbergs fines ect.
Not telling anyone about his decision to retire, and being afraid to tell Toto (Stuff of Pantomime)
Every driver has a share of bad luck at some stage,
Would James Hunt be a champion if Niki did,nt have his accident ???
And what if it had"nt rained at Suzuka.
Thats luck. Bad and Good, But Hunt is still Champion. Same as Nico.
But no other Merc driver will ever be World Champion as long as the Hammi/Wolff Love affair continues.
I think George has proved that."

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13. Posted by Panacea, 17/01/2021 15:00

"Well @kenji Mercedes didn't protect Lewis from rosberg did they?

But I watched Styria again last night, and actually after that bad start he held George at about 2.9s until he got undercut by 4 laps. Then obviously he was on old Hards after the VSC. So it wasn't really the obliteration everyone seems to remember."

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14. Posted by kenji, 17/01/2021 13:07

"Every year it's the same old same old from Bottas. 'I'm going to do something different' etc etc ect. Surely by now he can't still be under any illusions. He is not going to be a WDC. Even if he had the talent Mercedes/Wolff will not let that happen. If they do then why even consider paying such humungous money to Hamilton! Besides, with Mercedes/Hamilton on the verge of claiming eight WDC's... a new record, eclipsing Shumacher's total, would they entertain letting Bottas spoil that little party? Never in a month of Sundays. Hamilton is, as i've said many times, a protected species within the Mercedes F1 camp. Bottas has always been a wingman and wingmen don't win WDC's."

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15. Posted by Superbird70, 16/01/2021 16:17

"I wouod rather see a Senna/Prost type season than what we have now."

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