Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Silverstone, 2016

Bottas ‘had secret Mercedes seat fitting’

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas is reported to have visited the Mercedes factory in preparation for joining the team this year.

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Comment of the day

The new year is here and many are wondering whether F1’s incoming owners are going to do the right thing:

If ever there was a case for a shiny brand-new F1 owner (especially with a fine title like ‘Liberty’!) to take the current grossly unfairly distributed F1 financial spoils by the scruff of the neck and simply re-assign every cent, every dollar fairly and squarely to every participating team, that time is right now.

No bonus payments to any team whether it has a red prancing horse for a motif or green prancing dormouse for a badge. When the first starting grid lines up in March every teams cars should have identical cash from F1 (what they can earn elsewhere from sponsorship is entirely up to them!) and no team (be they ever so mighty) should be allowed any secret deals with the owners.

So come on Liberty. Show us just how honest and fair you intend to be. We’re waiting.
@Loen

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On this day in F1

On new year’s day 50 years ago reigning champion Jack Brabham took pole position for the season-opening South African Grand Prix at Kyalami.

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  • 51 comments on “Bottas ‘had secret Mercedes seat fitting’”

    1. Bottas getting the seat is so…, so…, it’s is one of the least exciting options.

      1. Zomtec, given the suggestion in some quarters of the press that Mercedes did try alternative options, such as Alonso and Hulkenberg, only for Mercedes to be told by those teams that they could forget about trying to buy them out of their contracts, Bottas seems to be the best driver whom they actually have a realistic chance of buying out of his contract.

      2. Good driving isn’t spectacular driving, it looks very plain and ordinary.

      3. Historically speaking, give a Finn and great car and typically a championship follows. Sad, but in today’s F1 the car is the star anyways. You could put practically any driver in the field in the current Mercs and they would magically become a winner…

    2. Lewis will thrash him in 2017.

      1. Just like he thrashed the much-maligned Rosberg last year. Oh, wait. He didn’t. He was beaten by him fair and square.

        Don’t count those chickens: They haven’t hatched yet.

        1. He was beaten by him fair and square.

          Well, that’s one way to put it, I guess… but it’s curious that Nico doesn’t want to beat Lewis fair and square again in 2017.

          1. Why is it curious @maroonjack.
            Rosberg achieved what he set out to do 25 years back, to match his father, to also win the F1 world championship. Despite having the setback of finding Hamilton in his way to make it a whole lot harder, he finally managed it at his 3rd try in a championship winning car. Why would he feel motivated to go through the effort to do a reapeat of it?

            Instead he can now find new things to achieve, new experiences to live through. Some people like to go to the same holiday resort year after year, having the same great time there. Others visit a place once, experience it, enjoy it (i’d hope!) and then move on. Not everyone feels compelled to do multiple championships, to challenge for the recordbooks and keep racing in F1.

            1. @bascb Well, F1 is not a holiday resort. I don’t think that’s the reason. I think Nico knows that second championship would be unlikely. Let me put it this way: if I felt that I was able to do better than my father, I’d do it. If I knew that people could remember me as one of the greats, I’d do it. If I was confident that I was as strong as my teammate, I’d do it. Even if I wasn’t confident, but I had any “Sisu” in me, I’d do it. And if I had felt that I had beaten my teammate “fair and square” I would have definitely tried it again.

              Nico knows that he won his championship not by the virtue of being better racer, but by the virtue of being ready when his closest rival was out of luck. And don’t get me wrong: it’s not an easy thing either, so kudos to him for achieving that. His consistency was admirable, but it’s like running a marathon, knowing you can’t catch the guy in front of you, waiting for his shoelace to come untied. Does it qualify as “beating your teammate fair and square”? Maybe. Maybe not. That was the only thing I took issue with.

            2. I get that the “fair and square” mention from knoxpolation got you to react. There was no real need for you to take the bait. But you didn’t just mention that Hamilton did suffer more from reliability issues to give Rosberg the opening he needed to do it. You added that you think less of him for not wanting to do another title @maroonjack

              If Nico felt that he had achieved his dream and did not feel the motivation to go further, I am certain that he would not have been on top of his game. Afterall, finding that little bit more when it counts is what makes a solid driver a winner, isn’t it? If you don’t have the motivation, why get in there to “do the job”. Instead we can now look forward to seeing how well Bottas steps up, and Bottas WILL be motivated to try and beat Hamilton.

              For the rest, I get tyred of having to read about the qualifications next to Rosberg’s title and seeming to belittle him for it. If you want fair and square, than in 2014 I would argue that Hamilton had been helped a bit by worse circumstances for Nico with reliability. And off course he did not quite beat Massa fair and square in 2008 either.

            3. Massa had the better car and stewards helping him against Hamilton. A guy spinning 5 times in single race doesn’t deserve later in the year becoming champion. What happened in 2008 is that we all got saved from having one of the less talented world champions ever.

              And as about Rosberg. Well the “fair and square” really doesn’t match it even without counting reliability because his driving was anything but fair after what he did in Spain and Austria.
              Rosberg didn’t have the skill to race, he had speed but he lucked in many other areas. So whenever he was trying to play the racer and go to wheel on wheel he had no idea how to be smartly aggressive. He ether lost pathetically or made horrible dangerous unsporting moves.

    3. Happy New Year fellow F1 fanatics!

      Or was that supposed to be a secret?

    4. Very big secret, can’t find anything about it anywhere. Apart from every relevant website of course! And then they ask how Spygate could have happened…

      Happy New Year everyone!

      1. Nothing gets out that isn’t supposed to in F1. The only reason this is in the media is because it fits someone’s political agenda.

        Perhaps trying to lower someone else’s price?

        Welcome to the real F1.

    5. Michael Brown (@)
      1st January 2017, 2:02

      Worst-kept secret in F1?

      1. @mbr-9, there are probably a few contenders for that title – Alonso moving to McLaren and Vettel to Ferrari were pretty openly discussed (remember Button teasing Alonso about it in one press conference?).

    6. Bottas had a secret Santa too.

      Happy New Year to all.

    7. You only have to look at the results to see that Gutierrez is wrong. He’s had three seasons in F1, and they’ve all been poor. Understandably, a single result can be affected by all sorts of variables, but over three seasons there’s no argument for that.

      Happy new year everybody!

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        1st January 2017, 6:06

        Yeah but you can’t expect him to say “Alright guys, I’ve had three seasons in F1 and clearly I’m not quite up to par, so I’m going to give up on it now.”.

        It’s either, quietly give up on his dream and pursue another form of motorsport, or, continue to try and sell yourself in a bid to continue your F1 career.

        Happy New Year to you too!

      2. There are still seats available at teams in need of serious sponsorship money, however Sauber already knows him, and I’m not sure it is an advantage for Gutierrez. He had his second chance, couldn’t really prove a point. One can argue that he finished 11th five times, so with a little luck, maybe he shouldn’t finish the season with zero points, but even with these couple of points his situation wouldn’t be brighter compared to Grosjean. And even though Gutierrez finished ahead of his teammate 7 times compared to Grosjeans 6, when it mattered, when they were going for points, Grosjean delivered, while Gutierrez did not. Their qualification battle was close, but it doesn’t really matter, it shows that the speed is there for a single lap, but the consistency might not be there for a whole race.

        1. You could argue that it shows how terrible romain is when the car isn’t perfect.

          Infact I’d say Romain reputation after the second half of the year can’t be in good shape.

          1. If Grosjean was dreaming about a Ferrari switch in 2018, he has to get himself together, true.

          2. Q85, I have to agree that, whilst Romain’s reputation did seem to initially improve at the start of the season as he picked up those early points finishes for Haas, the fact that he went on to be beaten more regularly by Gutierrez has probably removed much of that initial credit he earned.

            It’s true that the reliability issues later in the season must have played on his mind, particularly after his brake failure in Malaysia, but Gutierrez wasn’t that much better off in that regard (three brake failures for Grosjean as opposed to two for Gutierrez). It did feel as if he did get a little lost and a little frustrated towards the end of this year – whilst I would hope that 2017 might be better, given that Haas are likely to continue developing their car (as opposed to this year, where development work was fairly minimal), it does suggest a slight frailty in Grosjean’s mental attitude.

        2. After 2016 i don’t think Grosjean will seriously be looked at by a championship contender team.

          Sure, guti sucks but Romain wasn’t that far behind.

    8. LotusPosition
      1st January 2017, 5:02

      My New Year will start on March 26! See y’all there!

    9. Happy New Year to all F1Fanatic readers!

    10. Happy New Year! Incidentally, just out of curiosity, @keithcollantine is that your ear?

      1. Forget that, I misread the Newey bit.

    11. Great COTD. Agree 100%

      1. The sentiment of cotd works in principle perhaps, although I’m not sure entirely, but unless I’m mistaken there are contracts in place that if Liberty is to be honest and fair about, must be fulfilled for now. For sure I think they need to head to something better as soon as they can, but I don’t know that a new team lagging in back is contributing to the marketing and exposure of F1 globally and historically as the traditional top teams do, and therefore deserve the same.

        1. @robbie But the whole point is to get the field closer and eliminate teams lagging in back or dropping out.

          1. The whole point is revenue and profits for the shareholders. Just like CVC. Make no mistake.

            1. oh no you didn’t … lolz. You are not supposed to wake them up, they need to keep dreaming and looking up at the stars. Nighty Night.

          2. @balue Oh I agree which is why I said it could be better, but I still kind of side with BE in that as a new team entering you know the parameters and you have qualified to enter F1 based on a business model that you can sustain something and make a go if it or else you shouldn’t have even tried to get in to begin with. As in, when it comes to lesser teams holding out their hands for more, where does that stop when they themselves wanted in and are gleaning global marketing exposure at the same time. But I do temper this stance knowing that sometimes the goalposts change on teams who entered under certain circumstances which then change on them outside of their control. So for sure money distribution can be way better, but equal all around? I don’t think that is fair either.

            1. Teams get given prize money, so there is a reward for performance. That isn’t the problem, the problem is where some teams are rewarded more than others for being on the grid. There seems to be a lot of unfairness in the amounts teams are paid. For example, if a team changes its name, then that can affect their payout, but if they keep the same name but change owners then it doesn’t. You can also get the case where a team like Mercedes, who happened to race some cars in F1 in the 1950s get more non-performance money than teams that have done more starts.
              I think the fairest way of dealing with these sorts of inequality is to simply get rid of them all and go back to something really basic, like prize money and attendance money.

    12. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      1st January 2017, 10:06

      Happy new year all. Great COTD.

      1. Seconded. On both counts :)

    13. Looked at the article about the increased number of passes in F1.
      It’s a pity the author did not looked at the passes itself. Was DRS really involved in a pass is the real question you should ask here. (i.e the 13 VES passes in Interlagos hardly any DRS involved as far i can tell by images)
      If so the author has a point, but he failed to check his premises.

      As always, changing regulations and number of drives each year make a comparison almost impossible for all the records in F1 through the years.

      1. When it is raining, DRS is disabled. So all VES’s passes at Interlagos last year were DRS-less.

      2. Seems obvious from the stats that many DRS passes have contributed to the increase in passes since it’s introduction. And we’ve all witnessed them. So…I think that’s the point of the article. I don’t recall comment after comment around here about an increase in non-DRS passes. Non-DRS passes do exist of course and those are the only ones mentioned here throughout the season’s events, as it should be, as the DRS passes are simply not noteworthy.

    14. I really hope Bottas does well at Mercedes. Seeing Lewis in tears brings joy to my heart.

    15. I’m quite looking forward to seeing Bottas at Merc. He should aclimitise to the new team pretty quickly: he’s been driving the Merc engine since 2013 and the 2017 regulations help in clawing back the advantage Hamilton has regarding knowledge of the chassis and car handling.

    16. I remember how Lewis dominated Heikki Kovalainen, I put my money on Bottas being a decent #2 driver.

      1. Agree. Bottas should make a decent #2 driver… but I have a gut feeling that Merc will lose out on the WCC due to not having a lineup as strong as Red Bull

      2. Yeah, I do think that is the expectation we should have. It is up to Bottas to prove us wrong however (I had also expected Rosberg to be the no.2 driver, but he never gave up until he actually did beat Lewis), and if he would go for it, that would make for a really nice surprise.

    17. Lewisham Milton
      2nd January 2017, 10:40

      Bottas will be driving a secret Mercedes all year. It’s all part of the masterplan – Lewis will never know where he is.

    18. According to Autosport Sauber have confirmed Wehrlein will be joining them. So it’s definitely Bottas to Merc and Massa staying on.

      1. Strange, since Mercedes must me paying for Pascal’s seat, driving a Ferrari powered car. It makes more sense for him to go to Manor.

    19. Top Secret Seat Fitting… :p F1 world saw this comming for weeks now. Mercedes do what they please. Just like RBR tossed their Kvyat to STR…

      Fair enough, they tried Alonso, Vettel and Hulkenberg then got Bottas.

      Alonso and Vettel do not have a 2018 contract, unless Bottas is mega next year,… Or in fact if Hamilton decides again to not care enough to be at his best…They might get a new star driver.

      Personally I hope Bottas is a solid #2 and Mercedes take Hamilton to Schumacher stat levels over next 5 years.

      They could do the same with Vettel but Hamilton seems better and closer…

    20. As far as the COTD goes:
      The best we can hope for from any new owner (whatever name they’ve chosen) is that they take a slightly more long-term view than CVC did and be prepared (gasp) to actually reinvest some of the huge return that F1 provides. There’s plenty of money in F1 for all concerned, the problems under CVC had nothing to do with prancing animals and everything to do with the massive amounts being sucked out of the sport and into the pockets of people who had contributed nothing.

      I like to live in hope, so I’ll sit here hoping that Liberty take a slightly more enlightened view. But I can’t help feeling they’re just after their pound of flesh like the previous lot.

    21. They misspelled “fast degrading Pirelli tyres” in that Autosport overtaking article and wrote “DRS” instead.

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