Bottas Mercedes' only 'flaw' in 2018

Wednesday, 28 november 2018, 06:36 , by Matthew Scott

Valtteri Bottas winless campaign was the single "flaw" in Mercedes' fifth-consecutive championship-winning campaign, according to former team principal Ross Brawn. Bottas is just the third driver in the 21st Century to go winless across a season in a championship-winning car.

Rubens Barrichello (2001) and Mark Webber (2013) have previously failed to win a race in recent years while the team has gone on to celebrate success at the end of the year – each time their teammate (Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton) was crowned drivers' champion.

Likely victories slipped through Bottas' fingers in China and Azerbaijan in the early stages of the year – an untimely safety car and last-gasp puncture to blame.

But the Finn could not maintain his form and a third chance to win in 2018 was taken away when Mercedes ordered him to let Hamilton through for victory in Russia to aid the Brit's pursuit of a fifth world title.

Team boss Toto Wolff admitted Bottas could be mentally damaged by a campaign he said turned "to shit".

"The only slight flaw, if there can be one in a season like this, was the performance of Valtteri Bottas, who had a difficult season, plagued by bad luck," Brawn said.

"Valtteri had some opportunities to win, but either through misfortune, as in Baku, or due to the occasional, understandable, decision by the team to maximise the result for the benefit of both championships he didn't manage it.

"The result [was] that he seemed rather out of sorts by the end of the campaign."

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MORE: Mercedes fear Bottas 'damaged' after poor 2018

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Comments (24)

  • Chris Harris
    The problem with Bottas getting so much criticism in social media is that he doesn’t give you a reason to root for him. He has a very passive personality and doesn’t display that overt hunger that other champions do. He comes across like a door mat so he gets treated like one.
  • Amitabh Krishna
    Don’t agree. He was the knight in the shining armour. Had it or been for him Hamilton’s win would have been much more difficult. The constructors would have been a fight too. So please show some respect for the wingman and BUTLER
  • Greg Valdez
    Might of had one win had Merc not moved him over...ONCE. The rest of the season, he under performed. HAM came 5th or lower one time this season. Bottas, NINE times... Merc doesn't make him move over for Ferraris or Red Bulls
  • Tyler Saulay
    He is being thrown under the bus. He earned wins and moved aside so his teammate could take the win instead. Then turning around to say he didn't get a win in a title car. The media is f**ked.
  • Alex Moorcroft
    So bottas does what he’s told under the guise that it’s “for the team” then at the end of the season they wanna say he wasn’t the best because he didn’t win? Wow.
  • Neil Watson
    You can't be a good wingman if you're always 4 cars behind your teammate he was a good wingman in 3 maybe 4 races all season the rest of the time he was lagging behind.
  • Rick Wilson
    He did everything they asked him to do. They didn’t want him to win races. They wanted him to help Hamilton win. Ridiculous
  • Minas Petrou
    They destroyed his races so hamilton could win. And he was a flaw.??? Are you f... serious
  • Neil Watson
    It's no big surprise. He didn't perform as well as he should of in a merc. He just isn't champion material.
  • Tony Snyman
    Toto wolf is a tosser, how do you instruct your driver not to win an then chastise him
  • Nikolai Gibson
    This is the man's opinion who was interviewed, anyone watching F1 know that Bottas can deliver.
  • Anthony Val Gary Gotanco
    No he wasn't...he was a good wingman...followed team orders obediently
  • Austin Larry Gbuji
    I think he played the perfect wing man for Lewis this season. A very decent guy.
  • Corey Christensen
    Funny since Mercedes was Bottas' only flaw in 2018
  • Matt Boutell
    Like he would have done well in the Williams?
  • Jody Harrison
    How is that ? he wasn't even allowed to try anything.
  • Donald Cook
    You shoulda grabbed Danny Ric while you had the chance.
  • Robert Charleforet
    He's not a winner but he's a good wing man !!! :)
  • Bryan Stanton
    Still better than Riccardo
  • Jonathan Díaz
    Carlos Proaño

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