Valtteri Bottas future uncertain

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It’s early doors yet, but the silly season is never far away from the F1 drivers minds. And with Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button’s contracts up at the end of the year, then the F1 driver market should create more interest than just the ‘will he stay or will he go’ Jenson Button end of year storyline.

With 22 seats available (assuming Sauber survive) there is more opportunity for an experienced driver than in recent years but to get a front of the grid seat is still as difficult as ever.

With Kimi Raikkonen expected to retire at the end of the year, a top drive will become available for one of the lucky F1 pilots and if we turn back the clock just 12 months, then just one name would have been on most people’s lips. The new flying Finn – Valtteri Bottas.

Valtteri is the only driver on the grid – besides last years rookies Verstappen and Nasr – who has beaten his team mate in every season he has competed in Formula One. He has 8 podiums to his name driving for a team that has never been the second best on the grid.

Bottas finished the 2015 season in 5th place in the driver’s championship predictably behind the four drivers from Ferrari and Mercedes, though for some his failure to dominate Ferrari reject Felipe Massa is a cause for concern. Their head to head record last year saw Bottas qualify ahead of Massa 11 times, but Massa was quicker on 8 occasions – and there was just 15 points between them at the end of the season.

This season hasn’t started too well for Valtteri failing to qualify for Q3 in Australia though he did pip Massa to P6 in Bahrain but by just 2/1000ths of a second.

Massa has finished ahead of Bottas in the opening two rounds of the season and Valtteri’s ill judged positioning at turn one last time out left him again with too much to do to overhaul Massa.

The current standings see Felipe Massa in P7 with 14 points whilst his team mate languishes down in 11th with just 6 points to his name. Yes, there are 19 more races to go, but the 2016 F1 season has not started well for Bottas and he will need to dominate ex-Ferrari driver Felipe Massa this year – by some measure – if he wants a seat at Formula One’s top table next season. If not he may well be on the way to becoming the next Nico Hulkenberg.

31 responses to “Valtteri Bottas future uncertain

  1. The ‘no’ should’ve had “HELL” before it….

    Been saying it from day one, nothing special about Bottas, that warrants the hype, the ideal teammate for Seb would be RIC, but I doubt Seb really wants to there again and I doubt RIC has the intention of being anyone’s number 2 (he’s too good for that). So the next best option is Grosjean.

    Bottas himself said that all the talk of a possible move to Ferrari for this season affected him and pretty much threw him off his game. So if rumours did that to him, then He doesn’t have the right mentality to deal with the expectations at Maranello and that of the tifosi’s

    I’m afraid he hasn’t got that ‘sisu’…

    • I voted ‘yes’. Ferrari always like a compliant no 2 not able to challenge their no 1.

      • Spot on McLaren78.
        He wouldn’t be able to challenge Vettel, so would only be going as a back up. Still voted No though 😂
        For what it’s worth, I’d actually stay with Kimi (on the basis that Seb is number 1)

        team harmony – check
        Close enough to Seb to pick up points but not upset the chosen one (so far this year) – check

    • Why should they take Grosjean, for heaven’s sake he was a free agent last season so Ferrari could have gotten him for little. This means they consider him a 1st round nutcase who needs a psychiatrist to look after him.

    • I would pick Grosjean over Ricciardo. Ricciardo is a good driver, yes but WDC material? His statistics aren’t that great in the vs teammate battle. Lost out to Kvyat last year, and lost out to Vergne as well one year. Grosjean seems on a high right now and has carried both Lotus, and now Haas. And for some reason I would love to see Grosjean vs Vettel.

      TBH, just put Hamilton at Ferrari and let them fight it out. Put Alonso in the Mercedes seat and there we go, three world champions in good cars, should be good. Stoffel in the McLaren, and Verstappen in the Red Bull.

    • not to be taken wrong, its “HELL NO” with me, but I like the sudden change of heart at the hamfosi club about Valteri Bottas, up to last Sunday those of the hamfosi club were pushing him and the Colgate kid for a FERRARI seat, but now it looks like they have since Bahrain dumped him in the crashdonado skip.

      • You’re talking to the wrong person mate, anyone will tell you I’ve always said Bottas was overrated.

        Seb won’t have RIC join him, so the next best bet is Grosjean.

    • Yeah Bottas is a bit overrated. My preferences (if I was ferrari and assuming Ham/Alo are off the market) would be: 1.Ricciardo, 2.Rosberg 3.Hulkenburg, 4.Button, 5.Verstappen 6.Bottas 7.Perez 8.Grosjean
      One of those top 4 would give Vettel at least an occasional challenge…

  2. If BumBum (Bot-Ass) can’t dominate Massa – he doesn’t deserve a drive in a Ferrari….

  3. Another great TJ13 exclusive!! How do you keep doing it? You discovered ‘silly season’

    • Another Nothalf witty and incisive comment. How do you keep doing it? You discovered ‘sarcasm’.

  4. I voted yes. I feel that people undervalue Massa’s speed. Yes Massa was slower than Alonso, but he was sometimes quicker too, after Alonso was deemed the definitive number one. I feel that Massa is still a damn good racer and because everyone seems to think he sucks, he is making Bottas look worse than he is.

    • Even in F1 where people have lots of (GPS) data to judge the level of a driver, it seems that perception also counts.

      I do have a friend who speaks highly of Massa, Rosberg and Button.

      • Massa (38th), Rosberg (~15th), Button (20th), Raikkonen (~14th) are all seriously good drivers (in parenthesis F1Metrics rankings), and can all easily win a WDC in the quickest car with a compliant #2. They just do not reach the exquisite speed and consistency and unflapping nerves of an Alonso (3rd), Vettel (8th) or even Hamilton (~11th), and generally stay half a step behind the absolute top-tier… By comparison, neither Bottas (57th) nor Grosjean (66th) nor Hulkenberg (71st) nor Perez (74th) have yet shown anything close to matching top-tier performers… For comparison, Kovalainen is ~78th and Maldonado ~80th.

        The only one from the current crop who has shown serious potential to upset the top-tier in the same machinery is Ricciardo (17th). (Vergne unfortunately is probably out of business by now.) But Ferrari won’t go for him if they stick to their cherished #1-#2 policy. So while Grosjean would be a good pick for a decent #2 in support of Vettel (if they want to retire Raikkonen), surprised be not if they stick to Raikkonen for a further year even if his performance is starting to slide: he has shown times and again that he’s no match for Alonso or Vettel, yet he’s a trusty #2 to bring WCC points home…

        • Thanks – I’m always impressed with Metrics’ work, I do wonder what Kimi numbers would look like from 2009 onwards.

          • @landroni
            The image of Kimi in the key to your graph (top right corner) looks, to me, suspiciously like a Mexican riding a bicycle ( –O– ).
            Do you secretly hope to see Checo in a scarlet steed, I wonder…

          • @dobzizzle

            I think Ferrari has disavowed Checo when he unceremoniously dropped out of their Academy and made the switch to McLaren, and he consigned himself forever to the midfield when he performed unconvincingly against Button and got dropped by Woking. That Checo and Hulk consistently matched each other for two years running is doing neither driver much good…

            I like how F1Metrics described the pair in their rankings for 2015:

            “Testament to Hulkenberg’s enormous talent is the fact that he has lasted five (going on six) years in Formula 1’s midfield despite bringing virtually no sponsor money to his teams. Between his incredible junior career and his recent Le Mans victory, it seems Hulkenberg is unbeatable in anything other than a Formula 1 car. In Formula 1, the results continue to fall short of high but gradually lowering expectations, with 2015 the most disappointing year so far. For years now, Hulkenberg’s name has been raised in conversation whenever a top seat is available. His results against Perez may have finally ended that discussion. In 2015, Hulkenberg was consistently outmatched by his teammate, with the exception of qualifying. The overall tally for Hulkenberg-Perez is now almost equal: 154-137 in points, 16-16 in races, and 23-15 in qualifying.”

          • –O–
            That’s the Mexican on a bike, doesn’t work split over two lines!
            Thanks for the response, though. I consider Checo to have been put firmly in his place. Liked the F1Metrics analysis, too.

    • Well the last time a belgian drove for ferrari was the last time (excluding vettel) that they took a driver under 25. So there is hope. 😂

      • Hands off the Stoff! Never ever mention him again in the same sentence as that red Italian team. He’s Macca bound…end of!

  5. Bottas has been ahead of both his F1 team mates in points, but has just about matched, let alone dominated them. In 2013 Pastor finished ahead of Bottas 9/5 in the 14 races where they were both classified as finishers, and in 2014 and 15 Massa led Bottas home 8/7 out of 15 races.

    Bottas doesn’t seem to have that driving force that’s needed to go further. He’s well, un-noticeable.

  6. Kimi is hands down the best with Vettel. I love the comardery and friendship. They have different personalities but their attitude towards racing is the same. Hope both of them do well this year and continue to be teammate in 2017.

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