Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes

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Discussion

Jake899

Original Poster:

86 posts

10 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
The ever reliable Daily Mail is reporting that sources inside Mercedes are unhappy with Bottas' performance.

I live in Finland so I should back Valtteri, but to be honest, I feel the last three years he simply hasn't been doing a good enough job. Every time he doesn't finish second, he's underperforming for the constructors. Impressions from this season suggest Perez will challenge him much harder than Albon/Gasly did so for the sake of Mercedes he had better shape up fast. The thing is, when he is behind, he doesn't seem able to push the car in front, and when he is in front, he just isn't racy enough to keep the place. His performance in Portugal was very poor in my opinion. To finish third from pole in the Mercedes just isn't good enough. He couldn't hang with Verstappen, and at the restart he very selfishly backed Lewis into Max which really screwed him over into the first corner.
Being realistic, whether he likes it or not, he's a wingman. My point is, is he even good enough for that role. In my opinion, he isn't.
On the positive side, the clear gap in talent must result in a pretty steady ship at Mercedes and make it very easy to prioritise Lewis. I suspect Lewis loves having Valtteri as a team mate. What would the dynamic be like if there was an self confident young gun like Russell in the second seat?
If I was Toto, I wouldn't wait much longer to find out.

TheDeuce

9,532 posts

32 months

Wednesday 5th May
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The talent gap probably is about as close as it can be without Bottas becoming a worrying distraction for Lewis. As a kicker, Bottas is actually blindingly fast and extremely accurate on occasions, hence he normally qualifies as well as Lewis and that means that even with his questionable attack and race-craft, he typically brings home more points than his contemporary at the rival team. In fact, since 2017 he's out scored the no2 driver at whichever team has challenged Mercedes each year, other than 2018, where he fell short of Raikkonen by 4 points.

As an individual racing driver, he's not complete and easy to criticise. As a no2... he might be about as ideal as it gets. If that bothers you, imagine how he must feel about it wink

George is a great driver to have to for the future, and for the progression of the team, it'd be good to bring him in ASAP. Realistically though, it would be too disruptive ahead of Lewis getting his eighth title, which is incredibly valuable to Merc. If Lewis does get #8 this year, I would expect GR tp replace Bottas next season. If not, 50/50 and probably will depend on whether or not Bottas pulls his socks up a little, because he has appeared to under-perform his normal standard so far this year.

Jake899

Original Poster:

86 posts

10 months

Wednesday 5th May
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I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.

ch37

7,403 posts

187 months

Wednesday 5th May
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Mercedes AMG have moved quickly to fill the now vacant position...


TheDeuce

9,532 posts

32 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
This season so far, maybe... Although there have been mitigating circumstances, although granted we never really know which excuses are genuine and which are basically just a face saving excuse thrown at the media by the team..

Last season the 1-2's were plenty for him and Lewis. I don't see what more he could have done in that role without upsetting Lewis's title efforts. This season, obviously it's closer and RB are going to mix up those results, Bottas also appears not to really be on top of the new tyres thus far - but he'll probably iron that out.

You might be right, it might be possible for someone to do better without becoming a disruption - but we'll never know for sure, as the only way to prove it is for Toto to take a risk he doesn't need to take by swapping out Bottas. When he does eventually put George in that seat, I expect he will score more points but definitely won't be as compliant as Bottas.

Muzzer79

4,844 posts

153 months

Wednesday 5th May
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Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
Mercedes have won the constructors championship in every year that Valtteri has been driving for them

Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

What more exactly should he be doing?


He's had a so-so first 3 races of 2021 now that the Red Bull is faster and he has some pressure on him as a result, but early days yet.

Fire99

9,787 posts

195 months

Wednesday 5th May
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I think Bottas mostly does the job that is needed by Mercedes. Forgetting all the PR BS (excuse the acronyms) I don't think Mercedes needs someone to challenge Hamilton. Ok, Hamilton may relish the challenge but as a team, Bottas is mostly going to be a 2nd / 3rd place guy. That should be enough for Mercedes to take the constructors and for this year its a lesser gamble than having a 'new' driver like Russell in the car (and probably financially too with contracts etc).

But, on an individual driver perspective, yes I think Bottas in '21 is a 2nd division driver, with Hamilton, Verstappen, possibly Russell (and a few others) likely being ultimately more capable in a car with the same performance.

TheDeuce

9,532 posts

32 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
Muzzer79 said:
Mercedes have won the constructors championship in every year that Valtteri has been driving for them

Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

What more exactly should he be doing?


He's had a so-so first 3 races of 2021 now that the Red Bull is faster and he has some pressure on him as a result, but early days yet.
And let's be fair, in a third of those races he was punted off the track in the barrier(s)... Hard to maximise points haul when your car is in pieces and the bloke that drove in to you is slapping your head around the cockpit.

super7

884 posts

174 months

Wednesday 5th May
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Bottas is not displaying the usual 'air of confidence' that he has done in the past. His shoulders are down and his whole demeanour is wrong. He's had some scrappy races so far, especially Imola, where he put himself in harms way, even if he didn't cause the crash. He should never have been 'racing' a williams.

I can only see this getting worse. He can see Russell in the background, he had his nose rubbed in it last year at Bahrain, and he knows this is his last year.

He's a sideshow to the LH44 juggernaut and always will be whilst at Mercedes.

So, short of just giving up and handing the seat over now, he has to battle on, knowing he might pick up the odd pole position or race win, but he's never going to the WDC. But I can see that if his current form continues, Toto will have to make a change.

Can we see a Russell / Bottas swap ? That would be the last kick in the Valtteri's being sent back to Williams......


StevieBee

9,801 posts

221 months

Wednesday 5th May
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Over the past few years, Bottas has been the perfect second driver (if not a number 2 driver). The difference this year is that Red Bull are much closer. A scenario where Lewis takes the WDC and Red Bull, the WCC is highly probable and given that it's the latter that the teams pursue more, is not something that Mercedes are particularly happy with.

Perez will almost certainly up his game. When that happens and if Bottas hasn't upped his, I can see a change happening.




sparta6

2,589 posts

66 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
Muzzer79 said:
Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

.
Yes, but behind by how many points ?

The Red Bull was largely shonky with snap under/oversteer, only Max could handle it. Perez has now arrived and their car has improved.

If Bottas maintains a similar 2020 points gap behind his team mate this season, Mercedes will lose the WCC. Even though Mercedes is the faster car as Toto shouted to Bottas in Portugal.

Jake899 is correct, Bottas will become a liability as the season progresses. Russell is the natural replacement



red_slr

12,734 posts

155 months

Wednesday 5th May
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Think you are all forgetting that Lewis will have a considerable say on this and I think for next year he would be daft to put anyone else in the car. He is going for 10 stars and needs to have a strong 2022 to make sure he gets the 9th under his belt.

The biggest threat to him in 2022 is a team mate who pushes for WDC and Adrian Newey!

Muzzer79

4,844 posts

153 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
super7 said:
I can only see this getting worse. He can see Russell in the background, he had his nose rubbed in it last year at Bahrain, and he knows this is his last year.

I can see that if his current form continues, Toto will have to make a change.
Current form?

Here's Bottas' results for the last 5 races:

Sakhir '20. Pole. Finished 8th. Team cocked up his pit stop
Abu Dhabi '20. 2nd on grid. Finished 2nd
Bahrain '21. 3rd on grid. Finished 3rd
Imola '21. 8th on grid. DNF. Hit by George Russell
Portugal '21. Pole. Finished 3rd

I'll grant you that he needs to challenge Max a bit more but, looking objectively at the above, he had a cack race in Imola but is doing just fine for Mercedes apart from that.


Edited by Muzzer79 on Wednesday 5th May 11:32

kambites

61,488 posts

187 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
IMO they wont replace Bottas mid-season. The destabilizing effect on the team would cost them far more points than any other driver who is realistically available would hope to gain them.

I doubt he'll be there next year, but then I thought that last year too.

TheDeuce

9,532 posts

32 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
sparta6 said:
Muzzer79 said:
Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

.
Yes, but behind by how many points ?

The Red Bull was largely shonky with snap under/oversteer, only Max could handle it. Perez has now arrived and their car has improved.

If Bottas maintains a similar 2020 points gap behind his team mate this season, Mercedes will lose the WCC. Even though Mercedes is the faster car as Toto shouted to Bottas in Portugal.

Jake899 is correct, Bottas will become a liability as the season progresses. Russell is the natural replacement
Mercedes will lose the WCC.. care to show your workings out on that one..?

Don't let it bother you that with two Max's last season, Merc still would have won.. or that already Merc are nearly a DNF ahead in WCC this season despite one of their cars already suffering a DNF.


Muzzer79

4,844 posts

153 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
sparta6 said:
Muzzer79 said:
Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

.
Yes, but behind by how many points ?

The Red Bull was largely shonky with snap under/oversteer, only Max could handle it. Perez has now arrived and their car has improved.

If Bottas maintains a similar 2020 points gap behind his team mate this season, Mercedes will lose the WCC. Even though Mercedes is the faster car as Toto shouted to Bottas in Portugal.

Jake899 is correct, Bottas will become a liability as the season progresses. Russell is the natural replacement
People seem to be thinking that Bottas needs to beat Max. He doesn't.

Bottas needs to beat Perez most weeks for Mercedes to win the WCC. Leave the beating of Max to Lewis.

With two third places out of 3 races, Valtteri is achieving this.


TheDeuce

9,532 posts

32 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
Muzzer79 said:
sparta6 said:
Muzzer79 said:
Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

.
Yes, but behind by how many points ?

The Red Bull was largely shonky with snap under/oversteer, only Max could handle it. Perez has now arrived and their car has improved.

If Bottas maintains a similar 2020 points gap behind his team mate this season, Mercedes will lose the WCC. Even though Mercedes is the faster car as Toto shouted to Bottas in Portugal.

Jake899 is correct, Bottas will become a liability as the season progresses. Russell is the natural replacement
People seem to be thinking that Bottas needs to beat Max. He doesn't.

Bottas needs to beat Perez most weeks for Mercedes to win the WCC. Leave the beating of Max to Lewis.
Exactly, which he will do quite easily imo. Bottas is great at quali, that alone will more than often put him ahead of Perez at the start - and obviously that then swings the race in his favour.

I think last race Perez qualified 2 tenths off max, while bottas was 7 thousandths faster than Lewis. It's actually staggering how often those two are within thousandths in quali.. and that's a key area where Mercedes have had, and still have a powerful advantage.

sparta6

2,589 posts

66 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
sparta6 said:
Muzzer79 said:
Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

.
Yes, but behind by how many points ?

The Red Bull was largely shonky with snap under/oversteer, only Max could handle it. Perez has now arrived and their car has improved.

If Bottas maintains a similar 2020 points gap behind his team mate this season, Mercedes will lose the WCC. Even though Mercedes is the faster car as Toto shouted to Bottas in Portugal.

Jake899 is correct, Bottas will become a liability as the season progresses. Russell is the natural replacement
Mercedes will lose the WCC.. care to show your workings out on that one..?

Don't let it bother you that with two Max's last season, Merc still would have won.. or that already Merc are nearly a DNF ahead in WCC this season despite one of their cars already suffering a DNF.
Ofcourse it depends on where 2 x Max's keep finishing.
1 x Max had 5 DNF's in 2020.

Too early to call, but car 44 should bag the WDC even with engine turned down for the showbiz show. Incredible reliability since 2014.


TheDeuce

9,532 posts

32 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
sparta6 said:
TheDeuce said:
sparta6 said:
Muzzer79 said:
Jake899 said:
I think to surmise my point; Even as Lewis' back up driver, he should still be bringing more points to Mercedes than he has been.
Bottas has finished second in the driver's championship for the last 2 seasons, behind Hamilton.

.
Yes, but behind by how many points ?

The Red Bull was largely shonky with snap under/oversteer, only Max could handle it. Perez has now arrived and their car has improved.

If Bottas maintains a similar 2020 points gap behind his team mate this season, Mercedes will lose the WCC. Even though Mercedes is the faster car as Toto shouted to Bottas in Portugal.

Jake899 is correct, Bottas will become a liability as the season progresses. Russell is the natural replacement
Mercedes will lose the WCC.. care to show your workings out on that one..?

Don't let it bother you that with two Max's last season, Merc still would have won.. or that already Merc are nearly a DNF ahead in WCC this season despite one of their cars already suffering a DNF.
Ofcourse it depends on where 2 x Max's keep finishing.
1 x Max had 5 DNF's in 2020.

Too early to call, but car 44 should bag the WDC even with engine turned down for the showbiz show. Incredible reliability since 2014.
Your logic (such as it is) falls down when you actually look at the results so far though...

Lewis is ahead of Max.

Bottas is against of Perez.

Talking of reliability.. Bottas is ahead of Perez after three races, one of which he didn't even complete. So I guess Bottas could DNF for around 1/3 of the season and still get the job done based on what we have seen to date? smile And extreme example of course, but you get the jist.

Bottom line, Bottas only has to beat Perez. The fact he's also close enough to Lewis to apply pressure on to Max is just a bonus. Perez is doing fine so far imo, he's doing a good job. But he's simply not as close to Max as Bottas is to Lewis, and unless he can improve on that very quickly, RB have no realistic shot at WCC this season. Not unless Merc hit some extreme reliability issues. As you have pointed out, reliability issues are historically more likely to effect RB anyway.


aston80

236 posts

7 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
Bottas certainly hasn't been helped by Mercedes' pit crew!