Coming into this season, every F1 fan knew that the closest challenger to reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton would be his teammate Valtteri Bottas. But after the initial hope providing victory at the Austrian Grand Prix, a pattern emerged that we have become all too familiar with.
Hamilton soon got into his groove and Bottas’s title hopes began to fade away rapidly. The Finn now sits 69 (!) points behind Hamilton who has 230 points to his name and seems all set to win his 7th world title.
While Bottas has failed to silence his critics, Hamilton continues to deliver results with freakish consistency. There shouldn’t even be a debate as to who is the better driver. However, Bottas who is true to his own self-belief thinks otherwise. And fair play to him for doing so.
He says, “Of course I have to believe that (I’m a better driver than Lewis). Of course I believe that when I’m at my best I know I can be better than him.”
Nevertheless, Bottas does concede to the fact that Hamilton has outperformed him in the last few years. He adds, “Obviously there are days that he’s better, no doubt. Overall in the last few years being his teammate, he has been better.
“But I don’t like to do politics, I just love driving. I like fair but hard racing and that’s what I do, that’s how I’ve always raced and that’s how I’ll go on.”
Valtteri Bottas happy with his performances despite an alarming points gap to Lewis Hamilton
About his showings this season, the Finn says, “I’ve been pretty pleased with my performances this season, especially compared to previous years. Especially my race pace has been really good, so I think the performance has been there.
“It has been about the small details, get them right, and get things to go my way as well. But overall performance has been pretty positive.”
Although Bottas may think his performances have been really good, the critics hate to agree. The Silver Arrows number two has won 2 races this season compared to Lewis’s 7 and has failed to capitalize during race starts and hasn’t been able to push Hamilton all the way as one hoped he would.
Nevertheless, the season isn’t over yet. With six races to go starting from the one in Portimao on the 25th of October, can Bottas spring a late assault on Hamilton’s crown? You wouldn’t bet your house on it, but considering it’s 2020 anything could happen.