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Lauda about Bottas: "We made the right choice"

  • Published on 28 Mar 2017 11:22
  • comments 7
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Valtteri Bottas is being praised from all sides after his solid Mercedes debut in Melbourne. "Initially he was a Calimero," joked Italian journalist Giorgio Terruzzi, referring to a popular and cute cartoon baby bird, "but he eventually showed signs of being a Rosberg."

Terruzzi is referring to Nico Rosberg, the driver and reigning world champion who Finn Bottas has replaced on a one-year deal. The correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Manel Serras, agreed: "In the end, (Lewis) Hamilton was defending second from Bottas rather than fighting for victory."

Mercedes' team bosses also approved. "Bottas did something incredible," team chairman Niki Lauda is quoted by France's L'Equipe. "He did exactly what was expected of him. We made the right choice, thank god." The F1 legend added: "I don't think Nico would have done better, and in Valtteri's first grand prix for us, that's sensational."

According to DPA news agency, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff agreed: "I am very impressed." And Germany's respected Auto Motor und Sport gave Bottas a post-race rating of 9 out of 10 -- the same as teammate Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sauber debutante Antonio Giovinazzi.

However, particularly after trailing Hamilton by less than three tenths in qualifying, Bottas admitted he was "angry". Mark Webber told the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti that's a good sign. "It shows Valtteri is hungry," said the former Red Bull driver, "and he is putting the pressure on, as he should. If he was really satisfied, that would be the cause for concern. Bottas knows that his teammate is really hard to beat, but that's his goal -- and that's good." (GMM)

Replies (7)

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  • ianf1

    Posts: 185

    I think it just shows that all the top (i.e. non pay) drivers are all pretty much equally capable - put any of them in a decent car and you'll get very similar performances out of them.

    • + 1
    • Mar 28 2017 - 11:40
  • Oh and no whining about tyres, just plain old good driving, pre-agreed team orders were blatantly obvious towards the end. No challenging no swapping mid way, Bottas was way way quicker.

    • + 2
    • Mar 28 2017 - 12:58
    • ianf1

      Posts: 185

      Let's hope that Bottas gets ahead of Hamilton at the start in the next race, then see what pans out. That would be interesting.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2017 - 13:10
    • Yeah it seems like some weakass arrangement in-house, like who ever gets to the first corner and stays ahead gets to keep that lead position unless something dramatic happens like mechanical troubles, slow puncture, other gremlins. Exactly why Bottas held station. Bottas will have to muscle his way past into the first corner to do anything meaningful.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2017 - 14:27
    • ianf1

      Posts: 185

      ...or Ham needs to fluff the start, only a matter of time for that!

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2017 - 15:08
    • Wolfgang

      Posts: 313

      i don´t think hamilton is going to mess up any start again. He´s definitely knowing that this cost him the title in 2016...

      • + 0
      • Mar 30 2017 - 12:13
  • Vet5

    Posts: 225

    Give Bottas another race and he will start to show his potential, the Aussie GP was never a strong circuit for him, plus 1st race in a new car/team would have been difficult.

    • + 0
    • Mar 29 2017 - 10:15

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  • Country Netherlands
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (23)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), Netherlands
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
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