The story appears on

Page A15

October 14, 2019

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Motor Racing

Bottas won’t make it easy for Hamilton in title race

Valtteri Bottas will not make life easy for Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton even though the Briton is now within touching distance of a sixth Formula One world championship.

The Finn roared to victory in yesterday’s Japanese Grand Prix to narrow the gap to Hamilton, who finished third and set the fastest lap, to 64 points.

The 30-year-old Bottas is now the only driver who can still overhaul Hamilton, with a maximum of 104 points remaining to be won from the final four races, but his hopes are more mathematical than realistic.

Hamilton need not win again to clinch the title and would still be leading even if he fails to score for two races and Bottas takes maximum points. The Briton could take the title as early as the next round in Mexico on October 27.

With Mercedes having wrapped up a record-equalling sixth straight constructors’ crown in Japan yesterday, and sure of an unprecedented title double for the sixth year in a row, the Finn can pull out all the stops.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to give up as long as there is a theoretical chance,” he said.

“What happened here is a good example because I was starting third with two Ferraris ahead, so it was going to be difficult to win, from this point of view.

“So, it’s possible. But I’m realistic as well and I would need to be very lucky — that’s a fact — to win all the rest of the races.”

Bottas has three wins to Hamilton’s nine this season.

The Finn rebounded strongly from a winless year in 2017, leading the championship early on after two wins in the first four races.

His form has waned since, with yesterday’s victory his first since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April.

In his third season with Mercedes and already confirmed for next year, Bottas has tended to fade in the second half of the year.

While blaming himself for falling behind Hamilton in the title battle this season, he used some earthy language to counter those detractors questioning his staying power over the course of a campaign.

“I nearly said some swear words again, I don’t know if I did,” said Bottas of his comments over the radio after taking the checkered flag, before then using an expletive on live television.

He made his point with similar directness after his win in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March.

“It’s such a good feeling and obviously there’s quite a few people say that normally I don’t perform in the second half of the season,” he said of his latest win.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend