Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2016

Bottas: Rosberg showed Hamilton is beatable

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas is aiming to replicate Nico Rosberg’s successful 2016 campaign alongside new Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton.

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Take Zak Brown’s prediction of no wins for McLaren with a pinch of salt, says @Rsp123:

I think Brown is sandbagging – or at least minimising expectations.

A mountain of money has been poured into the McLaren Honda project, and at the very least I expect them to be much improved on last season. Another year without a podium (at least) and things will start to look very bad for McLaren.

I doubt Honda will want to go more than another year or two tagging along at the back.
@Rsp123

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134 comments on “Bottas: Rosberg showed Hamilton is beatable”

  1. Bottas’ surely talking up himself a lot lately. But he should understand, Lewis is not Massa.

    1. This sport, like many things in life, requires a positive mental attitude.

      1. exactly, as a F1 driver or anyone in any sport you have to believe you are the best, if you don’t, then you’re teammate just won you over mentally.

        1. your comment makes perfect sense, but only for F1 and not for other sports.

          I was actually trying to find another sport where you have to beat your teammate, and i really couldn’t find one. Anthony Davidson once said in a commentary that his little boy asked him why there are teammates in F1, and he could find a great answer. Sure, it’s easy to understand from a team’s perspective (gather more points, the economics of F1, etc), but not from a driver’s pov.

          It’s like in soccer the strikers would fight to steal the ball from each other in order to score a goal for the team.

    2. Yes. On the other hand maybe these cars will suit different drivers.

    3. Got to get into Lewis’ head early. Besides, Lewis’ father has already started the mind games with Bottas.

    4. Bottas not talking himself up, but answering media questions. Massa beat Hamilton before his accident don’t forget, don’t forget the way Hamilton luckily only just beat Massa to the title in 2008. Lets see your reaction when Bottas beats Hamilton.

      1. Can you point to where Massa beat Lewis before his accident? Because I must’ve missed that

      2. ??????!

        That was more than 8 years ago and of no value today. Massa is not the driver he was (for the worse) and the same for Lewis (for the better)

        What is of value is that Nico beat Lewis and Bottas is unproven in a consistently competitive car. The real question is, can Bottas be a better driver then Nico? Lewis on good day is unbeatable. It just depends if Lewis is having a bad day, can Bottas have a better one.

      3. Massa had opportunities to score points that he gave away on a regular basis in 2008. If it hadn’t been for the Ferrari-brand Stewards at Spa, Massa would have entered the Brazilian GP with *no* chance of winning the championship.

        Both Massa and Hamilton suffered from inconsistency during 2008, but Hamilton generally had the upper hand (He didn’t even score a podium to take the championship from Massa– usually a bad sign for the championship leader).

  2. How can you be in a sport for 10+ years and get nominated and win a category called, “Breakthrough of the year award”?… oh I forgot, it’s s Mercedes sponsored even & he’s an ambassador.

    1. That is why it is called the “Breakthrough of the year award”, it makes a lot of sense if you think about it for a second

      1. Thought about it a lot, still doesn’t make sense. But it does help when you’re ambassador for the sponsor and the awarding foundation.

        1. So all of the athletes honoured have ties to Mercedes then?

          1. LOLz. For someone who feigns a degree of intellectual capacity, that’s pretty weak sauce bro.

        2. I think maybe after 10 years he achieved his Championship, thus the breakthrough. It isn’t Newcomer of the Year, after 10 years he had his breakthrough. You don’t have to hate on him so much you know.

          1. Well he did make Lewis look a bit average. Can’t have that now can we?

  3. Now Bottas entered with a high foot! Let’s see if he can drop his reputation of “average”. He will definitely have the best (or second best?) machine. Let’s hope his new teammate focuses on giving a fair battle and not giving excuses if (just if, my money about this battle is on Hamilton) Bottas ends up being a real deal.

    1. @omarr-pepper
      I really hope (however I know that the chances are very less) that Bottas starts the season better than Lewis. Because if Lewis will be better that Bottas straightaway, everyone will have to attribute that to Bottas being relatively new to the machinery. I am already bored by even thinking of that.

      However if by any chance that doesn’t happen and rather than Bottas Massa-ing Lewis, Bottas starts by defeating Lewis, well that will be way more intriguing and interesting.

      Will Lewis stick to his already used excuses or has he come up with some new ones :D
      Come on Bottas …

      1. I only hope for both drivers to have the same reliability, that way we get to see who really is the best driver.
        I also hope Rosberg comes back to F1 and tries to win a championship with a different team.

    2. Anyone care to join in the sweepstakes:

      What will be the first race of 2017 to feature a Hamilton and Bottas collision?

      I’m going with Russia (race 4).

      1. Australia T1, L1.

        Bottas outqualifies Hamilton by 1 tenth as Hamilton’s DRS wouldn’t open. A rattled Lewis accuses his mechanics and then does a Grosjean/Webber Suzuka 2012-style T-bone into T1 after a sluggish start.

        1. So negative @jeffreyj

          I’ll jump in, Spain, as Nico and Lewis.

    3. Bottas never had the reputation of “average” that is just your opinion. He has developed a reputation as an excellent driver that will be a winner in a fast car. now he will show that to you.

  4. Good god those engines sound awful. My 1978 international Scout sounds 100 times better!
    What happened to this?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MGEqlNU30Tg

    1. It is curious however how different they sound from each-other.

      Is the Honda running on diesel?

    2. They both sound like tractors.

    3. I think you are being a bit too harsh about the sound, for starters who ever is recording the sound CLEARLY has no idea how to, it sounds like they’re recording it on their phone in their pocket inadvertently. Very crappy recording.

    4. The engine note itself sounds a bit dull, but it’s just at idle. On the other hand, when the engine is cut at the end, there’s a whining whoosh noise that I’m guessing is the turbo spooling down. THAT noise sounds amazing.

      1. to you, not to me.

  5. Alonso and Button also proved that Hamilton is beatable.

    Lewis also beats himself too often for it to go unnoticed.

    Bottas will struggle to beat Hamilton. Bottas hardly thrashed Massa, and Massa is a very very average driver and competitor.

    1. Alonso? Care to elaborate?

      1. Tied on points with Hamilton, and beat him on head-to-head in 2007.

        1. Except Hamilton outqualified Alonso and he outclassified Alonso- Hamilton was second and Alonso was third. SO sorry to say but I think Alonso fans need to be objective- Alonso was beat.

          1. Hamilton was the Dennis golden boy. In equality, Alonso would have beaten Lewis

          2. @Juanj

            What, just like how Alonso was Flavio’s golden boy at Renault?

          3. You mean the inequality that saw McLaren give Alonso the race win at Monaco despite Hamilton being in the stronger position to do so?

        2. 2007 FIA championship standings..
          1- Kimi Raikkonen
          2- Lewis Hamilton
          3- Fernando Alonso

          What you’re trying to convey, is alternative facts.

          1. 2016 FIA championship standings..
            1- Nico Rosberg
            2- Lewis Hamilton

            Nico beat Lewis?

          2. @Tom

            What you just posted would’ve made more sense had I made any comment stating Rosberg did not beat Lewis.

            So what exactly is the point you’re trying to make?

          3. What you’re doing is misreading the comment you’re replying to.

            “Alonso proved Lewis is beatable.” =/= “Alonso beat Lewis.”

            If Alonso was capable of having the same amount of points at the end of the season, he was certainly capable of beating him. The difference was minimal.

            In any case, Kimi beat both, so it hardly matters which McLaren driver beat which in 2007. It’s fighting for the title of ‘first loser’.

          4. So, by having the same points, and being ahead only on 1 more 2nd place, you’re saying that Alonso cannot beat Hamilton?

          5. @kgn11

            point was Lewis is beatable – Dim Sim’s original statement.

    2. If Massa couldn’t beat Alonso,
      And Alonso couldn’t beat Hamilton,
      Then how could Bottas beat Hamilton?

      Unless it’s some serious Rock, Paper, Scissors shenanigans here.

      1. Huh? I mean come on you need to think about it. If i pick Massa and scissors what would you pick?

        1. @dimsim
          Surely Hamilton should be the scissors, since he’s cutting edge :-P

      2. Alonso did beat Hamilton though.. and Massa beat Hamilton… then Massa had an accident.

    3. You never know, Bottas might find another gear (no pun intended).

      Last season at Williams, he seemed to have lost a bit of drive. I’m pretty sure that he will certainly be charged up for this season to prove his worth against the gold standard. I’m of the belief that he will do well. He has proven to be quick, and he is also unemotional in a very Finnish way, so he wont react to any of the games dished out by the other side of the garage, he just gets on with it. These attributes will aid him.

      I’m not saying he will beat Hamilton, but he will be quick enough to keep his teammate on his toes, and probably nick the odd win here and there.

      1. Yes that may be the case. I wish Bottas well. Perhaps the uninspiring nature of Williams grand prix wore away his natural spark. Now that he is free of that team he may do much better.

      2. @jaymenon10 I don’t agree that Bottas is unemotional. Yes he out-raced and out-qualified Massa quite convincingly. However when bigger prizes were at stake, it was Massa grabbing the poles.

        He may not show emotion, but it seems that he certainly feels the pressure.

        This season I’m sure we will have plenty of opportunities to test that theory

        1. @johnmilk
          During their three years together, Bottas got 9 podiums while Massa got 4. Neither won any races. It simply isn’t true that Massa grabbed the big prizes.

          1. @hotbottoms, hence the “poles”

            Arguably qualy is where pressure and stress have a big impact in the final time. Drivers have to be 100% commited, perfect lap, and grab the opportunities. It is the only time of the weekend that they are taking everything out of the car

          2. @johnmilk
            Massa had ONE pole position and Bottas qualified 2nd (within a tenth of a second of Massa) that time. Other than that, Bottas beat Massa really convincingly both in qualifying and races in every of the three seasons they drove in the same team. Are you really arguing that Massa handles stress better than Bottas based on one qualifying session?

          3. @hotbottoms, I am saying that Bottas is not immune to it and emotions as some people say, just because he doesn’t show them.

            If we go back to my first comment I am agreeing with you, Bottas out-raced and out-qualified Massa without a doubt. But he is not a cold-stone driver (or at least I don’t think he is).

            He also had teammates that had good relationships with him, this year, the same may not happen, the other side of the garage will be fighting for the world tittle. Only now we will be able to affirm that he is in fact not bothered with pressure, and if he buckles under it or not.

            The Massa pole was the first example that came to mind.

    4. You might want to add the Mercedes’ clutch and start system also beat Hamilton.

      1. Yeah you’re right with that observation. I presume you were referring to Hamilton? He does not seem to start very well at all.

      2. There was also the sun in Baku to blame, the team switching engineers, the wrong side of the track to start on, the factory favoring Nico, etc. Etc. It’s pretty much a lucky dip of excuses for Hamilton so take your pick.

        1. not to mention all of those on-track collisions were other peoples fault also ;)

        2. How about the blown engine in Malaysia which is the sole reason he actually lost the championship? That was surely Hamilton’s fault too.

          1. @offdutyrockstar There is no “sole” reason. You can’t just cherry pick the one occurrence that suits you as the one that lost Hamilton the championship. Using that method, I can say that crashing out of Q3 in Baku was his sole reason for losing the championship.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            15th February 2017, 13:45

            After someone reads this who doesn’t know Lewis, he/she would think that Lewis didn’t win 1 race or score more than 10 points over the season. They wouldn’t know that he still nearly won the championship and in the last race was driving like a bus driver and still Nico and Seb couldn’t overtake him.

          3. @schooner Rosberg advocates can make as many excuses as they want, the fact of the matter is that all driver errors taken into account from both sides, Malaysia decided that championship and it was a car failure that did it. On pure driver merit the fact that Lewis only lost by 5 points in what was a 32 point swing in that one race is miraculous in itself.

    5. Everybody is beatable, of course. However, one thing that rarely gets the attention it deserves is how different technical regulations and different tyres also shakes up the drivers order a bit. Cars and tyres that need a slightly different driving style make drivers move up or down the order depending on how they naturally drive. We have seen Webber being a lot better on Bridgestones and suddenly having a gap to Vettel on Pirelli’s, Massa never recovered from that change as well (his throttle application was described as “binary” (either fully on it or off it) by Williams’s driver coach Wurz as late as last race), while drivers like Perez profitted. Vettel certainly had its hands full more than others when they changed from a very stable rear axle with the classic full blown diffusor towards the far less predictable rear ends the 2014s cars had.
      Let’s see what a good bit more downforce, more grip and a move away from build-to-degrade-tyres brings for 2017, but it’s not a given that a driver who has beaten his teammate in a 2016 car will neccessarily be in the same spot this year.

      Wishful thinking me just has a slight suspect that 2017s regs should resemble the cars and driving style of Kimi’s strong years a lot more, so maybe we’ll see a surprise comeback…

      1. very measured response…. +1

      2. COTD!

    6. Talk about the post truth era right? Alonso didn’t beat Hamilton. It was the other way around. Hamilton beat Alonso in qualifying and more importantly, in the standings.

    7. Rosberg and Button beat Hamilton on points. Alonso lost on countback. Button beat both Hamilton and Alonso on points over a season, Alonso’s only points loss to a teammate. 1 year is not a decisive time period and Hamilton beat Button 2-1 in their 3 years together.

      1. @Markp Actually Button benefitted from Hamilton’s misfortune in 2012, Button was decimated by Hamilton including being lapped by Hamilton. Hamilton lost that year (2012) more then 120 points which was the reason how Button ”outscored” Hamilton.

        1. Hamilton lost to Rosberg and Button on points over a season. The reasons do not matter, he lost. On balance he just beat Button over 3 seasons. I believe Hamilton is better than both those drivers and he beat them over a number of seasons but in 2011 and 2016 they beat him. If reliability was fare then Massa would have won in 2008, sometimes works for you sometimes not. At this stage my opinion is Bottas is a huge outsider to beat Hamilton.

          1. Massa?

            Sorry but nothing that happened to Massa even compares to Spa!

          2. not even Singapore?

  6. “We know it will give us a performance advantage but the biggest risk is whether we can realise that potential this year.

    I do hope the new Honda engine has a significant performance improvement over last year’s engine, and that the planned restrictions on key parts don’t unduly hinder their desire for reliability.

    1. I think Honda’s philosophy of the engine design is finally logical but unoriginal. After 2 years of blunders they finally decided to go down the copy cat route and go with Mercedes’ layout. So, Honda will be starting 2017 with Mercedes’ 2014 PU.

      If I had to guess, Honda, at the end of 2016 managed to get a PU output as good as Mercedes’ at the end of 2014. So, they will probably start 2017 with a PU output slightly slower than last year and slightly more unreliable, but should improve by mid season or end season to a reasonable level.

      Regardless of Mclaren’s or Honda’s ‘progress’ , I see them being more than 100 hp down on the Mercs, while maintaining their customary 2 seconds a lap behind the leaders position.

      1. @todfod Do you recall that sort of “burble” from the Honda engine or the fact the McLaren car had a lower absolute flat out top speed than other cars? My theory is the burble was caused by the exhaust turbine being too small so the exhaust from the engine had to by pass the turbine, and that the lack of absolute flat out top speed was caused by a smaller MGU-H than on other power units. Just installing a larger exhaust turbine and a larger MGU-H alternator will fix both of those problems. If we get to hear the Honda engine during testing we should hear the burble has gone and the absolute flat out top speed has greatly improved.
        My thinking is the Honda engine has always been behind the Mercedes 2014 engine simply because they used smaller components than necessary. If, by chance, we hear the Honda engine sounds about the same as it did last year then I will believe their engine will still be behind the Mercedes 2014 engine. I believe if they had simply fixed those things then they would have done a lot to improve the power of the Honda power unit. Of course, Honda had to make sure their power unit fitted into the McLaren car, and that may be why they never fitted the larger turbine and MGU-H. If that is so then one could argue that Alonso was wrong to be critical of Honda’s less powerful unit because the problem wasn’t the power unit, it was the car.
        There are some other things as well, like the way Mercedes had their MGU-H in the V of the engine (Mercedes said it was in an oil tank, but I don’t know if that is true) and the shorter input turbine to intercooler hose than on other engines which gave Mercedes an advantage, but these were things that Honda, Renault, and Ferrari should have been able to figure out without any difficulty. I think it would have been worth using the Tokens for those other manufacturers to have rectified the situation.
        I cannot understand why, at the start of the last season, McLaren had such a large amount of faith in the “Size Zero” aerodynamic concept that they were prepared to forego the need for more power from the power unit in preference for the aerodynamic improvement. It is hard for me to tell whether the better turbine and MGU-H for this season came about before or after the departure of Ron Dennis.

        1. The issues surrounding some of the PU’s wasn’t so much that the manufacturers who got it ‘wrong’ and unable to fix it was in many cases solely due to the token system.

          After the first season they had enough tokens to replace about 2/3 of the PU. Anything that could be shown to be fixing a reliability issue was free from tokens, but, some of the performance related parts to be fully functional required additional parts to be replaced too, costing in effect too many tokens.

          If you remember towards the end of 2015, Honda said that they knew what they needed to change in order to sort the reliability issues, theynjustbhadnt got the required number of tokens left. Bench testing a PU is one thing, certain things can be tested to make sure that they are almost indestructible. Put that same PU into a car and other issues come into play, such as track vibrations and other harmonic interference, heat, moisture, dirt,etc.

          At least now, if manufacturers do get it ‘wrong’, they can completely redesign a PU and use it rather than having their hands tied to some ridiculous system and with luck open up the competition.

          1. I agree that the token system had handicapped them, and that now they have full freedom to redesign a wrong philosophy design. The problem is that they will constantly be 2 to 3 seasons behind on development work even without the token system. Mercedes and Ferrari will make gains as well in their PU department, and only once Mercedes gains become marginal can Honda actually catch up. We could be well in to 2019 or 2020 before the gains from PU development are only minor gains, which realistically means that Honda won’t be able to catch up until 2021 even if they do everything right.

          2. @todfod For pretty much the entire of 2016, Mercedes already seemed to be treading water wrt performance. They’ve hit the ceiling of ever diminishing returns with their design and it shows – yes, they’re creeping towards a total output of above 1000bhp, which through reliability and better management means they’ll be able to hit that ceiling more often for longer, but we’re not talking huge strides here. Basically, they’re still comfortably leading in performance and nobody could catch up without copying them, which was prohibited by tokens.

            Ferrari keep chasing ‘radical’ turbos & other redesigns, chasing some magical edge but it never seems to materialise, largely because their 2014 design was so flawed, the magical jump in 2015 (caused by them re-designing what they could within the token limits) gave them false hope that such jumps are possibly every year, where all it actually does is reset the reliability values.

            Engineers, given the chance, will converge designs – they work out what’s best within the given parameters and design towards it – it’s the engineering way. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Honda and Renault designs are heavily influenced (at least in spirit) by Mercedes and Ferrari’s relative successes in their engine packaging.

  7. Mercedes PR already bringing him to speed..

  8. There’s been some very strange commentary from the manufacturers about their PU development. First Renault and now Honda suggesting that their PU development might not be what is expected.

    The teams fitting those PU’s must be shuddering in their boots in the knowledge that if things are not right by testing, they can expect to be relegated to the back half of the field regardless of their chassis.

    There will be a lot of finger crossing come day 1 of testing.

  9. Funny seeing those tweets from McLaren & Renault, asking us to turn the volume ‘up’.
    Wouldn’t be saying that with V8s or older engines.

  10. For sure Bottas can beat Hamilton … Hamilton is a primadona with world leading driving skills.

    If he can beat him enough on some areas, his driving skill can faulter. Nico did that late 2015 and 2016…

    But if he can beat Hamilton on pure pace… That would be a suprising turn of events.

    1. Pretty much the way I’m seeing it.

      I think Hamilton has more ‘natural talent’ than anyone on the current grid… but not the strongest mind. Whereas someone like Alonso has a lower ‘peak’ than Hamilton, but is far tougher internally.

      Bottas is very, very good (better than a lot of people seem to think), and I’m sure he’ll beat Hamilton on pace from time to time, but I think his best chance is to rely on his head.

      1. “I think Hamilton has more ‘natural talent’ than anyone on the current grid… but not the strongest mind. Whereas someone like Alonso has a lower ‘peak’ than Hamilton, but is far tougher internall”

        Wow and there it is again, the same old stereotype used to describe black athletes, “they’re just naturally talented but lack the brain power or intelligence of the non POC counterparts”

        The guys been doing it for 23 years and very successful at it, but throughout that time, it’s only his ‘naturally talent’ that has helped him along the way.

        I mean like WOW!

        1. @Kgn11

          Lewis is black? I thought he was British.

          This is 2017 so how are we still doing the skin colour thing. Considering most high profile sports around the globe are dominated by both Black and White athletes, it is puzzling that skin colour needs to be brought up any time an athletes’ ability is questioned.

          Lewis is naturally talented. He is not in racing because he is filling some kind of social justice criteria. He is not racing because his family was wealthy enough to buy him a spot on a team. He is racing because he was good enough to turn heads with his natural ability.

          When people comment about his mental strength they are not talking about his origin. They are referring to times when he lets personal issues interfere with his focus. Examples being when he was having father issues his racing suffered. When he was having girlfriend issues his racing suffered. Intelligence has nothing to do with mental strength. Likewise skin colour has nothing to do with intelligence or mental strength.

          Time to stop using skin colour as an excuse to be offended by comments you don’t like.

          1. You can try and brush aside what I said with all your mumbo-jumbo, what I said is 100% factual. But you’re not interested in finding out, so you dismiss it and instead put forth some lame excuse. You think because it’s 2017 that somehow racism longer exist in society or the sporting arena? If you believe that, then I feel sorry for you.

            And yes he is black and yes he is British. What, you didn’t know they’ve got British people who are black?

            I’ve watched this sport for 20 years and prior to the start of the 2010 season, this rhetoric was nonexistent. And the very language being used to describe Hamilton is also used to compact POC and non POC in sports like Tennis, NBA, NFL, MLB, football etc

            This is a topic that I’ve researched extensively, so I’m not speaking from an uninformed position and just offering up “opinions” like you are. Below is one such article. I hope Keith allows this post through and that you’d read the articles

            http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2012/11/natural-athletes-vs-hard-workers/

            https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-myth-natural-talent.amp?client=safari

          2. F1 junky.

            Actually it’s your comments that need retraction.

            You are talking about 2011 where in the latter part of the season some justified issues and a purple patch team mate who was not even bothering to try to win the championship. At least LH tried and became frustrated when it was obviously impossible. On his worst season ever he got numerous poles and three wins more than most drivers career total.

            No one with an issue with mental strength closes down huge point swings year on year due to reliability against a teamate with seemingly fewer issues. Nor does one shrug off races being gifted elsewhere and then win championships.

            Nor do they come back year on year.

            No people with mental strength issues get so worn out driving against him they lose it and leave or retire.

        2. @kgn11

          Can’t tell if you’re serious or doing the ‘under the bridge’ thing, but F1Junky’s response was pretty much what I’d have said.

        3. @kgn11
          I mean like WOW ASWELL!
          Pretty sure you are taking the mickey but if not maybe check your premise and get a new direction for your so called “extensive research” as there was no talk about Lewis being ‘weak minded’ (not my words) that related to his race or colour- you added that aspect, not others! You made assumptions and filled the blanks for your own soap box!

          I could say that Webber was a much fitter but Daniel is naturally faster (for example) as they are both Australian, and that would be OK? Wait, no, Dan has an Italian background ……… that’s racist !

          1. Classic: When you are totally lost for an argument, play the race card (or gender card, gay card, whatever card)

        4. Great. Now we know why LH has not won every single race (and pole and lap) in F1 since Silverstone 1950. Because of this huge racist conspiration, of course.

      2. @neilosjames Lol, Alonso tougher, hence he black mailed McLaren-Mercedes and needs No1 status otherwise he can’t function good.

        1. 10 years ago. People change.

    2. @jureo Hamilton a “primadonna” ?, based upon what ?. Lol, Hamilton let Rosberg win at the end of 2015 and in 2016 Rosberg benefitted from Hamilton’s car issues in the first four races and more.

      1. I doubt that “Hamilton let Rosberg win at the end of 2015” considering how Lewis kept asking the Mercedes pitwall for alternative strategies to beat his team mate during those last races.

        And if Rosberg benefitted from Hamilton’s car issues in 2016, then that is unsurprising. In 2015 Nico retired during the Monza GP when his engine went up in flames and again in Russia after starting the race on pole because of an issue with the throttle pedal, while Lewis retired only once due to mechanical issues, so you can also say that Lewis benefitted from Nico’s car troubles that season. The Mercedes drivers were the only ones with a real shot at the title during these past three years, so if one had reliability issues, naturally the other benefitted from it to get the title and that’s what happened in ’15 and ’16.

        1. I love the alternative facts on 015.

          NR had reliability issues when the championship was all but lost already.

          By his poor performances across a majority of races.

          It’s quite clear in 016 that a ridiculous bias of reliability allowed a poorer performing driver to win. A level of inter team reliability that has almost never been seen in modern F1. The actual results of individual races clearly show this. The fact there was only five points in it further reinforces such. The number of penalties going to the poorer performer for driver related contact closes a lid on the matter.

      2. @revelations

        Based on primadona lifestyle.

        There is no more jet-setty glamour defining driver in F1 today.

        He probably has more tatoos than race victories.

  11. Bottas must be praying for reliability problems for Hamilton. That is how Nico beat Hamilton and why he quit. He knew he could never do it again. But it is good to see he is not afraid to try.

    1. Couldn’t agree any more. The only shot Rosberg had at beating Hamilton was when he had terrible reliability, and the same goes for Bottas. If Hamilton’s bad luck continues, he’s got a shot, if Hamilton has bullet proof reliability, the WDC is wrapped up.

      1. @todfod if Kimi had had bullet proof reliability back in 2005, Alonso (I chose this example because of your profile pic) would probably have just ome WDC by now. Yet nobody would try to throw dirt on his first WDC. (And Alonso himself didn’t have perfect reliability that year, only slightly better than Kimi).
        I don’t know why people claim there was a boycott, or at least an unfair advantage for Rosberg. Unreliable machines are a natural part of this sport. So please, to some #44 fans, (not you Todfod, but I mean the tinfoil hat fans), get ready to see Lewis getting one or two DNFs this year. Expect the same for every other driver. If there is a driver who gets 100% reliability, it’s the odd exception and not the rule.

        1. You have to be pretty amazing to beat Hamilton when he only had 1 dnf due to car breaking. 1 dnf in a season is pretty good. A few niggles in quali as well and apparently a driver who is not that good according to some can beat the mighty Hamilton.

          1. 1 DNF in a season where the car is 2 seconds quicker than all the competition is a dnf too far unfortunately.

        2. @omarr-pepper It plays both ways with this argument. You can’t say ‘reliability is part of the sport’ and then ignore the fact that Hamilton lost the 2016 championship to poor reliability. If any single reliability issue didn’t happen (clutch slips, turbo failures, ICE failures, mapping issues) then he’d have likely won, but they did happen, so he didn’t win – Rosberg did.

          That doesn’t denigrate Rosberg in any way – he had more points at close of play in Abu Dhabi – but looking at the picture as a whole, Hamilton lost crucial points through no fault of his own due to reliability issues on his car. Argue the point that he fluffed his starts if you want – yes, he did – but he didn’t set his steering wheel up wrong in Baku, cause his two turbo failures at the start of the season nor did he cause the big-end failure in Malaysia.

          1. @optimaximal – I think you are exactly right when you say that “it plays both ways.” However, I also think that the reason that at least some of us who are not Hamilton supporters* is that people only throw around the one side. People only say that Rosberg lucked into it and Hamilton lost due to reliability—and often it is said due to reliability alone. I think the latter is just wrong as there is much more to a season than reliability. But I agree that reliability played into it.

            My personal issue with this type of discussion is that no one mentions that over the course of their time together Hamilton had 2 seasons with better reliability that he benefited from. 2015, for example. In a span of 4 races (Italy to Russia) Rosberg had two incidents which cost him a 50 point swing (43 points of his own and 7 point difference to Hamilton). Take away those issues and it is a 9 point championship. But that isn’t being said. For me, it’s simply the lack of fair play in both directions.

            Yes, Hamilton had some (re-emphasize, some) bad luck last year. But he has profited from the bad luck of others in prior years. Perspective would be great. And I directed this at you, not because you have been one of the outspoken supporters of Hamilton, @optimaximal, but because your response here is quite level-headed.

            * – I am not a big Hamilton fan, but I admit he may end up the GOAT and is an amazing driver. However, it is very irritating when fans won’t listen to objective arguments and must support their chosen driver at all costs.

          2. should have read:

            “…I also think that the reason that at least some of us who are not Hamilton supporters* dislike the supposition that reliability is all that mattered in 2016 is that people only throw around the one side.”

          3. Hobo.

            The problem is that you are forgetting that during those periods of reliability Rosberg had all but lost the championship by the time he had (just one more by the way) an issue. He was absolutely smashed in 015 and regardless of a perfect season he would not of won.

            That cannot be said of 016 where (again the alternative facts) it was not one more issue but a constant barrage of issues causing back of the grid starts thus resulting in freebie races for his team mate running a perfect car. NR has not once had a lesser start place than 7th due to a self induced gear box change. Compare that to the number of races where his team mate has started near the back across the year. In fact across the last three years. There is a reason he has the record of getting the lowest start positions onto podium places. It’s not one I imagine he likes although good for the fans.

            Four reliability compromised races this year and a late on DNF, 20%+ of the races and still it was only won by five points quite clearly shows the gulf in ability and the luck that played a part in this.

            It also shows that he very much does have incredible mental strength.

          4. @Drg absolutely spot on.

  12. Yeah, If his car breaks down all the time!

  13. With the kind of reliability that Hamilton had last year, of course he could be beaten. Bottas had better not hold that as an example of how to get the job done though.

    1. Why not? It has worked out perfectly for Rosberg.

      1. Because that lopsided level of reliability is unlikely to happen to the same driver (Hamilton) again unless you subscribe to the conspiracy theories that is.

        1. 8 Merc engines on the grid, all fine apart from Hamilton’s which had 4 big end failures. Have I got that right? If I have, the conspiracy isn’t such a stretch unless you go for Toto’s ‘Freaky Coincidence’

          1. 1 big-end failure, 2 turbo failures necessitating a redesign and a mapping issue in Baku.

        2. @offdutyrockstar Typical gamblers fallacy. His reliability last season has no effect whatsoever on his reliability this season.

        3. @offdutyrockstar

          Because that lopsided level of reliability is unlikely to happen to the same driver (Hamilton) again

          That’s a common misconception (and one that was discussed here last year as far as Hamilton’s luck is concerned).

  14. Happy that LH has kept silent so far and hope not to be dissapointed henceforth. Do your talking on the track!

    1. Given his squabbles with the media last year I don’t imagine he’s out there looking for a microphone at the moment! He’ll have enough of that from next week until November…

  15. Those engine sounds remind me of when I did some consulting work at a steel mill.

    1. The Renault PU sounds like it’s steam powered and the Honda like an Endura diesel…

  16. Judging from some of the comments I have read on this site since Bottas moved to Mercedes, I seem to rate Bottas higher than most, I think he is a good driver who will keep Hamilton on his toes.

    Having said that, everything being equal, I don’t think he will beat Hamilton in the championship, but I think he will be closer than many suggest.

    Confidence can play a massive part in a sportspersons performance, and every driver on the grid has to believe that given the right chance they could beat anyone, so I am not surprised that Bottas thinks he can beat Hamilton.

    Also given the questions drivers get asked sometimes I understand why Bottas would have said what he did about Rosberg showing that Hamilton is beatable. However after years of racing against each other Rosberg only showed that he could beat Hamilton if Hamilton had a significantly worse reliability record over the course of the season than Rosberg.

    Because of the nature of F1 and how important the car is in results, if you give someone a big enough car advantage then they could beat anyone, car advantage is not just outright performance but also reliability.

    Most of the champions in the history of F1, no matter how good they were, won the title because they had the best car that year.

    If Rosberg and Hamilton had not been on the same team then the difference in reliability would not have stood out as much.

    Button had already showed that it is possible to beat Hamilton if you are his teammate, and even then it could be argued that it was more down to Hamilton making mistakes and underperforming.

    Ultimately I don’t think there are many, if any, drivers on the grid who with the same equipment, could beat a fully motivated Hamilton performing at his best, but then I think Hamilton is more likely to have off form weekends than some of the other top drivers, so over a whole season Hamilton is beatable but it probably relies as much on Hamilton beating himself as his teammate beating him.

    1. There are plenty of driver on the grid who can given the same level of machinery beat Hamilton! These include Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Alonso and Raikkonen just to name some.

      He may have 3 WDC’s, but, 2 were with an over dominant car and when he has raced in cars that has been equal to other teams, he has failed to win.

    2. PJA

      Well balanced comment

      Mad me – you live up to your name.

  17. my biggest fear for the Bottas /Lewis partnership is Totto.he already proven at the end of last year that he can be maliciously political with his ANARCHY nonsense to the media painting Lewis as disloyal when Lewis refuse to just capitulate to him..Thats a HUGE red flag,are we gonna see a Button Witmarsh situation all over agian?Basically Button had a very poor end to his 2009 season and Witmarsh being very fond of Button didnt want Button to get embarrassed by Lewis so the team tip the sale in the beginning to give Buuton a good start…check out the 1st races of 2010….you know how it goes once you compromise there no going back,and once Lewis started grumbling about it, they further tip the scales in Buttons favor to prove that they wasnt..That resulted in the downfall of Mclaren investing every thing in Button trying to prove he was as good as Lewis…There is a psychological term for it….
    The point is that Totto has gotten rid of everyone that he has shared power with or has challenged his power.Ros Brawn gone….Paddy gone….Rosberge Leaving left Lewis in a powerfull position as much as a driver can be,that why this winter Totto wasnt running around like he did last year talking about disciplining and putting Lewis in his place…

    Totto is already much to close to Bottas being his manger or former..I fear he may put his thumb on the scale in favor of Bottas to take away some of Lewis power and to prop up his guy.

    1. @spactus

      Basically Button had a very poor end to his 2009 season…

      What? By what measure is ‘winning the championship with a race to spare’ very poor, including 2 podiums in the last 5 races driving a car that was being rapidly out-developed, despite a mega early showing?

      1. Check the results, he won 6 of the first 7 races

        1. Hit the send button by mistake…

          Jenson won 5 of the first 7 races, in the remaining 10, he only had 2 podiums and didn’t get his next win until he moved to McLaren. A more reliable Red Bull would’ve seen him lose that championship.

          1. Why didn’t he win after the half way point in the year? Please enlighten us….

            Or keep presenting your alternative version of events to make it seem like it was jensons lack of skill that didn’t see him win.

            He fought as hard as anyone could with zero development as rivals blasted past.

            One of the most deserving championships in the last decade.

            Unlike the last 3….

    2. Totto is already much to close to Bottas being his manger or former..I fear he may put his thumb on the scale in favor of Bottas to take away some of Lewis power and to prop up his guy.

      Hamilton conspiracy theories are starting early this year.

  18. bottas is delusional if he really thinks that. the only reason rosberg won is because of hamilton’s mechanical issues. one thing is to be positive but another is to be realistic with your feet firmly on this planet.

    1. I’m thinking the same.He made a lot more mistakes in 2016 than 2015,2014. If there would have been an Alonso or Ricciardo in the same car as him the difference in points would be big.

  19. So Renault are entering a train this year or did they just happen to fire up their engine as a train was passing.

  20. Bottas will struggle against Hamilton. Hamilton will beat himself, if he can’t get his starts under control and show a bit more consistency. I doubt Bottas will be as close to Hamilton as Rosberg was. It’s his first year with a new team, and he didn’t wipe the floor with Massa, who in my opinion isn’t on the same level as Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo or Verstappen…I think if Bottas would team up with any of these drivers, he’d be finishing behind them more often than not. I can’t wait for the season to get started!

  21. Mercedes would never work against one of their drivers.Even if someone wanted to “sabotage ” one of the cars ,out of all the people that work there someone would find out and go to the press .

    And when Rosberg missed the chicane in Monza 2014, allowing Hamilton up into 1st position Toto Wolff was smiling.I don’t think he cares who wins.Also dragging he’s company’s name through mud just so that one driver who is half german and grew up in Monaco could win is ridiculous.

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