'Bottas' season broken by Baku heartbreak'

Friday, 07 december 2018, 07:24 , by Matthew Scott

Former F1 driver Mika Salo says his fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas' largely miserable 2018 campaign hinged on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where victory and the lead of the drivers' championship were snatched out of his hands by an agonising late puncture.

Although Bottas contributed to Mercedes' fifth constructors' championship, he failed to win a single race – becoming just the third driver to do so across a season in a title-winning car in the 21st Century.

Bottas' early season form was more impressive and likely victories in Shanghai and Baku were taken away by factors outside of his control.

Azerbaijan was particularly galling as a run through debris three laps from the end cost him and Salo believes he failed to recover, leading to a campaign that Bottas said "turned to shit".

"I think it's OK to say it out loud," Salo told MTV of Bottas' castigating of his own performances in 2018.

"At least he has identified what were the weak points for him and will work in the winter so that they are not there next year.

"Valtteri has no choice but to reset completely and start again next year.

"Pretty much everything went wrong this year. Baku was really bad. If not for what happened he would have led the championship and who knows how the season would have gone after that.

"There were so many little things that were just bad luck, not anything that Valtteri did badly. But they surely affected him on the mental side pretty badly."

MORE: Bottas sure 2018 better than 2017 despite no wins
MORE: Bottas doesn't want Rosberg advice on beating Hamilton


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Comments (13)

  • Chris Harris
    I wish I knew the background of Bottas prior to Williams. He appears to have no swagger, ego or energy like most successful or any F1 driver. He reminds me of a kid whose Dad made him play sports so he could live through his son and doesn’t really like it.
  • Scott McInnes
    Honestly think he would’ve been better off staying at Williams at this rate. I know I’d rather be in a lower tier team, but be able to actually race. 2nd driver at Mercedes should be a seat that no driver in their right mind would want to fill.
  • Aghilesh Arasu
    No one can be like Kimi. After Nurburgring 2005, I thought he would give up on that year but I was wrong. He fought till the last lap of the season and gave Fernando a run for his money. :)
  • Steven Miller
    Rubbish, he was fine at Silverstone months after that. Simply struggled wherever the Mercedes did in the second half of the season, Lewis Hamilton made it look otherwise.
  • Chaitanya Bhat
    Understandable that it was tough to take, but if he was completely broken by that, then he doesn't deserve a seat. Too soft that would be.
  • Nigel Payne
    He's just not a top level driver, I'm sure Merc think Ocon will be the main man after Lewis
  • Amitabh Krishna
    You are a butler and wingman. You don’t have the right to dream. Just serve
  • Dave Newson
    He’s only keeping the seat warm for Ocon now anyway
  • Duncan Christopher H
    Bottas is a submissive snowflake
  • Matthew Luchici
    Ohhhh sorry budy. . this is shit. ..

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