Valtteri Bottas losing at the Sakhir Grand Prix

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Your initial reaction at the start of the Sakhir Grand Prix weekend poured in, with the focus inevitably on Bottas v Russell.
Here is the latest edition of the PlanetF1 mailbox…

Bottas can’t win anyway

Noir: The best drivers end up in the best cars, and if George Russell has a great weekend here, it won’t hurt his chances of taking that full-time seat.

Bottas [has] had a very run down Friday too. However, would you like to be in his situation this weekend? If he comes out on top it will be ‘so you should Valtteri, you’ve been in this seat for 4 years’, if he’s beaten by Russell he’ll have the whole world on his case and probably be mentally finished. Huge pressure on the guy and he can’t really win anyway. I am very sorry for him.

Congratulations to Vettel and Ricciardo

Alien: Russell can turn Verstappen’s head, just like Hamilton. There’s a reason Bottas is fourth. If it was the car, Bottas would be second.

The key point here is that Verstappen is unable to take a Mercedes car that is 0.120 seconds slower (almost equal). Still, Hamilton defeated Red Bull on a 2.5s slower car per lap at the Turkish GP. This is the difference between a good driver and an average driver.

Russell has the opportunity to make a statement this week, let’s hope he delivers and doesn’t turn off.

Bottas is here to make Hamilton look good

Jermaine: It was obvious to anyone who paid attention that this year’s Mercedes makes Hamilton look better than him compared to the rest of the field. Hamilton is a great pilot, clearly an all-time great (although critics of Hamilton like to pretend he’s an average mill pilot, which he isn’t), he’s still pretty clear. that having Bottas as a teammate made Hamilton look better than he really is.

We already know that Hamilton can’t be much faster than the other top drivers on the grid. How do we know this?

After four years as teammates at Mercedes, Hamilton nearly beat Rosberg 42-36 in qualifying.

It doesn’t seem like domination to me. For Hamilton to be head and shoulders above the rest of the riders on the field, it would have to come to the conclusion that Rosberg was much better than anyone but Hamilton. I’ve never heard anyone say Rosberg was the second best in the business when he was active.

Not to mention Hamilton’s last two teammates have made it clear that they believe Verstappen is faster than Hamilton. When people who have competed directly against Hamilton in the same kit for years say that, you have to be careful. Because indirectly they also say that Verstappen is faster than they’ve ever been.

Fernando Alonso: Bottas’s seat is safe because Toto is protecting Hamilton, giving him a weak winger. Russell has the potential very clearly, he’s faster than Bottas on his first outing even if it’s training, that means something.

This weekend will put to bed any arguments that it’s not the car, when it very clearly is, but it will also show why Russell is stuck at the back of the grid because Hamilton and Toto don’t want such a good pilot to mess things up. Mercedes.

It’s a shame because Russell is being held back. If Hamilton is that good, it doesn’t matter who his teammate is. But of course, they’re only looking for easy stats.

The Wolff at Russell’s Gate

Jamie Borovski: Wolff has only been a serious obstacle to George Russell’s F1 career. He’s about to make him wait at least another season before he can even think about having his picture taken at a seat at Mercedes, when this kid has been nothing short of stellar since his first lap in F1.

Despite all their faults, Red Bull gave Max Verstappen his chance against the big team. Russell is stuck in the worst car on the grid for at least one more season, which will have been three years in the worst car on the grid by the end of 2021. What a shame.

Ajay M: What exactly is Toto thinking here? Someone this excited has never been in the absolute last squad for so long… they should have made a deal with Claire and have her the car already this year.

They didn’t need this race to prove it. But, now that he’s showing his adaptability and pace in the best car too, why should this talent get stuck at Williams with nowhere to go; at the very least, he should be part of the gossip around Red Bull’s second seat. It is starting to look like forced labor.

Of course, he’ll eventually drive a Merc in 2022 or 2023. But a lot could happen by then that could throw a wrench in the works. Even if all goes well, he will finally drive a victorious car at 25.

At that point, Max and Charles would have spent 4 or 5 years in a competition car. F1 drivers have limited careers. Being in the wrong place for too long can be very destructive.

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