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Bottas: I can fight for the title

NEWS STORY
03/03/2021

It's clearly that time of the year again, as Valtteri Bottas insists that he can fight for the title.

Though he has never gone down the full subservient route of, say, Rubens Barrichello, it's fair to say that since joining Mercedes has never constituted the threat to Lewis Hamilton that, say, Nico Rosberg did.

Though he raised his game a little last season, the Finn is still unable to challenge Hamilton on a regular basis, even if one ignores the presumed restraints the team has placed on him.

Nonetheless, with an admirable straight-face yesterday, Bottas insisted that he is targeting the title this year.

"This year, although Lewis has won all the titles since we've been team-mates, going into this year we're starting from fresh and with a new page," said the Finn, "and yes, I absolutely believe I can fight for the title... and that's, of course, the ultimate goal this season.

"That's my target," he added, "but it's a long way until that and you need to really take it step by step.

This year I'm demanding more from myself than ever,” he continued. "Obviously, without overdoing things, but the ultimate goal for this season is that when I get to the last race, in Abu Dhabi, I can look back and say that I did 100-per-cent, I did every single bit to win the title. That's the ultimate goal for this season.

"And that's the same for all the people around me, whoever I'm working with," he added. "I'll demand as much as I feel like I need to, to get the support and the information that I need.

"Maybe, that way, you know, can be a bit more selfish, but one year in a lifetime, giving it everything that you have is actually a short time and that's the kind of mind-set that I have. That's including me and people around me.

"In some of my years in F1 I've definitively put too much pressure on myself," he said, "there's been times when I've taken too much pressure from outside and vice-versa, that there hasn't been maybe enough pressure from my side. It's all about finding that right balance and kind of playing with that.

"The only thing is it to let the team know, in terms of how much they are pressuring you is to discuss about things and the same thing with myself. I have to be self-honest with everything and try to find a good way, heading into every single Grand Prix.

"But that's the tricky part and it's the same in every sport. There's never been any sports person that has got 100-per-cent out of themselves in every single event they've done, but I need to get there more often... that's the question."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 04/03/2021 5:25

"I have on the highest authority, GOD, these real Results of the Abu Dhabi race from a parallel planet far far away called NEVAHAPENEDSO:

P1 Winner: Max Verstappen,
P2. Valtteri Bottas (due to turned down PU),

Unfortunately, GOD says that he's a bit fuzzy on our boy gorgeous George Russell because he fell asleep and he's position could be anywhere from P3 to P20 or DNF (also due to turned down PU)!
God say that the youngster was trying to hard and could have blown the engine or crashed into another car! That's youthful exuberant for you as always!

(There's absolutely no proof that this never happened, or that the results were any different!)
"

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2. Posted by kenji, 04/03/2021 2:24

"@SLR I think that this has gone as far as it can as any reasoned discussion is not going to happen so I shall refrain from any further debate [?] and move onto the impending tests and new season ahead of us. I will leave you with one point for inner consideration, so ask yourself this.... If Russell had driven the second race, had no pit problems and no punctured tyre and won the race ,which was a distinct possibility, what effect do you think that would've had on the future of Mercedes drivers and the public perception of same? Have a very nice day."

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3. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 04/03/2021 0:44

"Correction:
As far as Mercedes are concerned, they just want to win the Constructor's Championship and it doesn't matter to them who wins the Driver's Championship, even if this would give Hamilton a record 8th World Title!
Anyone who says otherwise just wants to belittle Lewis Hamilton's true abilities and achievements!"

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4. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 04/03/2021 0:42

"I smell a lot of Baloney!

As far as Mercedes are concerned, they just want to win the Constructor's Championship and it does matter to them who wins the Driver's Championship, even if this would give Hamilton a record 8th World Title!
Anyone who says otherwise just wants to belittle Lewis Hamilton's true abilities and achievements!

Having said that @CFF1 is correct in a certain extent that Mercedes would of course step in, as would most other top teams, if for example, Valtteri Bottas purposely or recklessly crashes into Lewis Hamilton trying desperately to win the championship in mid season much like Nico Rosberg did on more than one occasion!

Here we go again, Lewis Hamilton had to race even when he was unfit because he was scared of being embarrassed and didn't want George Russell in his car blah blah blah! This type of made up BS is exactly what his detractors would spew out day in day day, again and again because they just love it, just like the nonsense about Lewis's demands in his contract! An apology here for people wrong assumptions would be nice but I suppose that's too much to ask!

No, Lewis Hamilton is a racer and that's what he loves to do! And the F1 doctor and rules says that he could race! That's the end of the story! It was in the end a champion's drive to P3 if Hamilton later found out that he wasn't at 100%! But obviously he's detractors want to put a negative spin on that too!
And If just one race on a simple easy race track is enough to convince someone to change the driver line up immediately, then there's really no point in reasoning with them is there?
It's a good job that these people are never put into the job of team principal at a top team with responsibility for over half a billion euros of shareholders', partners' and sponsors' money and over 2000 employees!

When I talk about how good Lewis Hamilton is, still, it's not just about the car, but it's backed up by all his records and achievements to date!
When people talk about how good George Russell is, or how Max Verstappen is the best and greatest driver on the grid, it is backed up by very little! They are talented but it takes a lot to beat Lewis Hamilton, particularly over a full season!
A lot of these 'delusions' is because they are crazy 'fans' of Russell and Verstappen, or a dislike of Hamilton, and most of it is just Wishful Thinking!
Yes, it's all opinions, but opinions backed up by historical records of achievements is worth more than hot air in my opinion! "

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5. Posted by kenji, 03/03/2021 23:43

"@SLR...Really? Seriously? Do you you think that with such a dominant car and the opportunity of reaching a goal that has never been reached before in F1 that Mercedes would consider for one fleeting moment allowing Bottas to ruin that achievement? You are also understating the Russell/Verstappen possibilities. When Hamilton contracted the virus Russel stepped in and showed just how dominant that car is despite his relative rookie status when compared to Hamilton. For the second race it was obvious that Hamilton was not completely fit, in his own words, and yet he chose to drive..why? He did not want Russell to have two bites of the cherry. As for Verstappen well he's no rookie and IMO he would make short work of Hamilton given equality of cars. Yes, we all have opinions and that is all they are however sometimes the facts surrounding these issues mean different things to different people whom you choose to label as detractors. Alternate opinions and the freedom to express those opinions is healthy."

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6. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 03/03/2021 16:43

"@SLR - I agree with you to the extent that I think Merc would let them race, at least at the start of the season. But, if the past pattern of Bottas just not having the consistency or raw pace of Hamilton is witnessed again this year at some point they'll enforce a #2 status on him.

Also, I think you're selling Russell and Verstappen a bit short. Yes, Hamilton has a lot more experience, and when he was younger he was also more erratic. Remember, as you noted, that in his rookie year he beat (if on countbacks) Alonso, then a 2x WDC and in his 7th season in F1, and came within 1 point of the WDC himself. Put either of Russell (2 years in F1) or Verstappen (6 years in F1) in the second Mercedes and I think Hamilton would have a much bigger fight on his hands vs Bottas. So I don't think their relative lack of years in F1 is a great marker for how well they'll do against Hamilton."

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7. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 03/03/2021 16:23

"Here we go again! Mercedes would never let Valtteri Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton! Really? Seriously?

Well, that's just not true! And everyone knows it, or should know it! Bottas has beaten Hamilton many times already!

Unfortunately, Valtteri Bottas is just not as good nor as consistent a driver as Lewis Hamilton over a full season for the last four seasons!
Similarly, Nico Rosberg was a slightly better driver than Bottas imo but essentially in exactly the same position as Bottas except for 2016 when Hamilton suffered from abnormally high equipment failures! Did Mercedes let Rosberg beat Hamilton then? Yes!
Similarly, two time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso did not beat Lewis Hamilton in his rookie year! Did McLaren hold Alonso back? No!

Now there's the new George Russell brigade! Is Toto afraid of putting Hamilton against Russell? No! Russell is still too inexperienced and risky for now!
Is Hamilton afraid of Russell in Bottas's seat? No!
Hamilton will still beat Russell over a full season, due to experience, skills and consistency!
Similarly, I believe the Hamilton would beat Max Verstappen if he was in Bottas's seat as well for the same reasons!
However, Max Verstappen is young and has lots of time to gain more experience, skills and consistency, and eventually, Lewis Hamilton will inevitably get tired of this F1 circus and then turn to his other interests!

Hopefully, this won't be for a few more years yet, just to upset all his detractors for as long as possible! "

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8. Posted by Greg, 03/03/2021 13:42

"Have to agree. If they thought that they wanted a driver to challenge Lewis, they could have brought up George and let the best man win."

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9. Posted by kenji, 03/03/2021 13:01

"Every year we hear the same old mantra and what eventuates...zipppedy doo dah. It's all too predictable. There is no way Wolff/Mercedes would remotely contemplate letting Bottas beat Hamilton. They preach equality on the outside but not on the inside! At this point in time there is nothing that would indicate Bottas rising above his no.2 status. Same old same old. "

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