'Bottas can beat Hamilton to title'

Sunday, 06 january 2019, 02:00 , by Martin Macdonald

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes that Valtteri Bottas has the ability within him to beat his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, to a driver's championship in the future, but admits the task of overcoming the Brit in the form of his life will be tough.

The 2018 Formula 1 season was a successful one for Wolff, Hamilton, and Mercedes as both the driver's and constructor's championship were secured.

However, Bottas had a disappointing season in which he failed to claim a single race victory, even though he had the same car as the eventual campaign champion, Hamilton.

The Finn has come under increasing pressure to improve or risk being replaced, with Esteban Ocon tipped for his seat already for 2020.

Wolff has defended his driver, though, saying he can defeat Hamilton.

"We are seeing the best Lewis that I've seen in the last six years, and there is a reason why he is a five-time world champion," Wolff said

"Beating a five-time world champion at the peak of his activity, peak of his performance, is going to be very difficult and Valtteri knows that. But I think that he has it in him.

"I think that he can win – he has proven it this year on a few occasions, but he had bad luck or was in a position where he could not win.

"I think if that turns into a positive momentum that is actually driving for the championship, I think that Valtteri can win the championship."

Bottas finished the 2018 season in fifth place in the driver's championship behind Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, and Max Verstappen.

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Comments (40)

  • Jonathon Bellamy
    Unless Hamilton had loads of issues with his car (7 to be counted in 2016 including the failure while leading the Malaysian GP which cost Lewis title to Rosberg), then Lewis will beat Bottas quite easily. Bottas needs a killer instinct that the Verstappens, Hamilton's, hell, even Vettel have.
  • Kelly Mattes
    Probably not, as I always say the only way to see whose fastest on talent is between teammates. Kimi, Botas and Ricardo were all slowest on their teams and you can go through all the other teams too. The only way they would win is with a superior car.
  • Dave Cattal
    Even if he was number one in his team, he would never win the title. He’s a good driver but to win a championship you must have « something more » and he doesn’t. Too week mentally and not « killer » enough on track
  • Ricardo Gilperez
    Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is destroying his self esteem ... and he's not free to race with his total "anger" against the "diva" ...And even Finn... never like Kimi Räikkönen #bwoah.
  • Kais Opeth
    Bottas very good driver but I don't see him in the same level of Max or Vettel.... and of course needs a tons of talent and hard work to match Lewis's skills and speed
  • Jonathan Carre
    He can't win if every time he is in a winning position he has to let Lewis past, even when the title was as good as won.
  • Hans Duiven
    No disrespect to Valtteri, but Toto must have been misquoted when he made that statement/or he was temporarily insane.
  • James Brown
    Not unless its a season like 2016 then no chance, but has more of a chance than Barichello did
  • Chris Harris
    He is not a winner. He doesn’t have the instinct. He came in 5th with the best car on the grid.
  • Szymon Siesicki
    No he cant. At least not in Mercedes He will be told to let Hamilton pass.
  • Martin Burns
    He can’t because Hamilton will cry and throw his toys out the pram
  • Paul Parkes
    Don’t worry the C1 season starts soon and I know who has a spare car
  • Juby Yaphets Pis
    Ofc he can, even an average driver like Rosberg beat him lol
  • James Walsh
    Not a chance. Clear number two, slower and happy to roll over
  • Ricardo Gilperez
    Not if Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport do not want it.
  • Jeff Meserve
    He'll need the same level of support they gave Nico!
  • Neil Reed
    So "can" anyone but ohh well just another nonsence off season post!
  • Chris Matthews
    Only if they give him a hundred point head start!!
  • Makara Srey
    McLaren Mercedes probably detuned his car to let dumb Lewis win.
  • Dexter Williams
    Toto is the biggest troll I've ever seen.

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