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Bottas: Abu Dhabi race summed up my season

  • Published on 25 Nov 2018 18:23
  • comments 11
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Valtteri Bottas says that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix perfectly summed up his season after another disappointing result. The Finn was just beaten to pole position on Saturday by teammate Lewis Hamilton, and set out on Sunday to take his first win of the season.

After running in P2 for the opening stint, Bottas found being past by Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in the second phase of the race. The Mercedes driver crossed the line in fifth place, making a late pit stop after Mercedes were concerned by his tyres.

"I think that race sums up my season pretty well,” Bottas said after the race. “I had a lock up into Turn 5 and in Turn 8 when Max got close. I don’t know why, the team said they could see some issue but I don’t know what and then I touched with Max and there was a slow puncture and in the end… that was it really."

Bottas ends the year as the only driver from the top six that failed to win a race across the entire season. When asked to summarise his 2018 campaign, he replied: “Honestly you’re asking that too early after the end of the year. I want to have some time off and time to think about things. It’s been a mentally tough year so I need some break.”

Bottas will return to Mercedes in 2019 alongside Lewis Hamilton, but signed a one-year deal earlier this season, which means his seat could be in jeopardy come towards the end of next year if he doesn't perform. And he admits that he is already thinking about the new season.

"For sure it has been on my mind but after this kind of season I don’t have the energy to look too far away. I’m just going to take it easy for a while and then I start to look forward. For now it’s just difficult to see the positives but I will.”

Replies (11)

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  • xoya

    Posts: 581

    He was mentally destroyed by team orders in Russia and it was all for nothing, since Lewis had an unassailable lead at that point.
    That was obvious to everyone except Toto, it seems.

    • + 4
    • Nov 25 2018 - 20:52
    • Well he Russia was the 16th round of the year. He had all that time to shine. But don't let facts get in the way of that one-sided analysis

      • + 0
      • Nov 27 2018 - 04:00
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    It's worrying that he couldn't handle that if that's the case - being in the best car, the pressure is on-he has to perform, he doesn't do that too often - that's the bottom line.

    • + 0
    • Nov 25 2018 - 22:11
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 501

    IMO he ‘won’ two races but Hamilton claimed the victories. By the same token on today’s Channel 4 race commentary, the race gave him 11 wins this season, errr - that would be 9 he won and given the other two. To win implies you have beaten the opposition, not the case when someone is asked to ‘give up’. One of the continuing worst aspects of F1.

    • + 2
    • Nov 25 2018 - 23:37
    • f1ski

      Posts: 726

      Just remember because of rules limiting development Mercedes was gifted 3 championships.

      • + 2
      • Nov 26 2018 - 00:05
  • He is not performing as good as he should have given the merit of machinery he operates. Ocon should have been given a chance in 2020.

    • + 0
    • Nov 26 2018 - 00:33
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Bottas has been dealt a bad deal no one will remember his gifting of the race win to Hamilton. On occasions he has been able to beat Hamilton but on those the team made sure that they gave Bottas a lesser strategy. I don't think that he was better than Hamilton but the way that Toto favoured Hamilton was incorrect, it's almost like he wants Bottas to fail so he can replace him. Al the more impressive that Rosberg beat Hamilton in the previous year. For me ocon hasn't been that impressive at least not impressive enough to warrant replacing Bottas. Anyway Mercedes will need all the help they can get next year and I find it strange that their talent can't get an decent F1 seat. Hope Bottas comes back with an Nico Rosberg attitude.

    • + 1
    • Nov 26 2018 - 06:13
  • Bottas need to be more agresssive. Nico found out the only way to beat Lewis was being much more raw in wheel to wheel action with Lewis. Bottas needs the same but I'm not sure if Mercedes wants the same.

    • + 1
    • Nov 26 2018 - 09:25
  • I'm sure Bottas is a very nice guy but that said, he is totally and utterly wasting one of the top seats in F1 just because Toto is too scared to put anyone in the car who 'might' challenge his goldenboy. it's quite ridiculous and a huge shame. To see someone like Alonso leaving yet Bottas has again the top seat for 2019 is just beyond dumb. Toto, you're a buffoon!

    • + 1
    • Nov 26 2018 - 11:48
    • It seems Toto doesn't want another war in his team, he needs a nice guy who will compete with Lewis as Valterii did last year. This year, as 5th plae shows, was very dissapointing.

      • + 1
      • Nov 26 2018 - 11:59
  • sadosalo

    Posts: 198

    Yes Bottas got destroyed by team orders and Lewis as a narcissist except it as normal but it is not normal as "team" to destroy your teammate with team orders instead do it on the tarmac. Excuse me but Lewis and Toto with the favor of FIA to stop development and the GB officials / stewards kill F1 nothing worst for a sport than total domination, week in week out in to watch this boring procession. And if Max disrupt the status quo they fall over each other to critic his drive style and like schoolteachers preach that he still has to learn, c'mon that is what the real F1 fans want to see action no procession.

    • + 0
    • Nov 26 2018 - 14:19

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