Feb.15 (GMM) Former F1 driver Alex Zanardi doubts Mercedes newcomer Valtteri Bottas can take on his teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2017.
Finn Bottas has been drafted in to succeed the suddenly-retired Nico Rosberg, who quit the German team after winning the world championship.
Bottas is saying he can take on triple world champion Hamilton, while Mercedes team figures have said the 27-year-old is a like-for-like substitute for Rosberg.
But Zanardi, who last raced in F1 for Bottas’ former team Williams in 1999, is not so sure.
“Hamilton has proved several times that he has an extra level compared to the others.
“Rosberg managed to beat him, but that was about his extra qualities,” said the 50-year-old Italian, referring to the huge effort and many sacrifices made by the ultimately burned-out 31-year-old last year.
“Bottas is a very good driver, no question, but he’s not a Nico,” Zanardi, today a Paralympic champion in hand-cycling, is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“For Lewis, this makes it all the easier for him to dominate the championship. Behind him I see better chances for Red Bull to chase Mercedes than Ferrari.
“I trust Daniel Ricciardo, and above all Max Verstappen, a lot,” said Zanardi.
10/06/2017 Bottas ‘getting under Hamilton’s skin’ Jun.10 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas is getting under Lewis Hamilton's skin at Mercedes.
That is the view of Bottas' Finnish countryman Mika Salo, who is a former F1 driver and now regular FIA […]
09/03/2016 F1 trio question ‘celebrity’ Hamilton’s focus Mar.9 (GMM) A trio of former F1 drivers have considered whether world champion Lewis Hamilton's increasing global celebrity will hurt his bid for a fourth title in 2016. Some, like […]
16/03/2015 Mercedes slams Red Bull after 2015 opener Mar.16 (GMM) Mercedes chiefs have lashed back at those calling for immediate rule changes after the opening race of 2015. Amid a diminished grid and earlier courtroom dramas for F1, the […]
10/08/2016 Hamilton fears title lead won’t last Aug.10 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton said he headed into F1's summer break aware that his lead in the world championship might not last for long.
Many pundits are predicting that F1's reigning […]
25/02/2016 Hamilton slams moves to make F1 cars heavier Feb.25 (GMM) Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has slammed F1's proposed car 'revolution' for 2017. Although the final vote has been delayed until late April, the sport's […]
28/12/2016 Rosberg exit is Ricciardo boost – Webber Dec.28 (GMM) The shock retirement of world champion Nico Rosberg is a big boost to Daniel Ricciardo's title chances.
That is the view of Ricciardo's Australian countryman Mark Webber, […]
24/11/2016 Rosberg should target win from pole – Surer Nov.24 (GMM) Nico Rosberg should target pole and the win rather than an easy and careful cruise to the title this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
Although winning the championship with a mere […]
27/12/2016 Bottas ‘a possibility’ for 2017 – Wolff Dec.27 (GMM) Toto Wolff has admitted for the first time that Valtteri Bottas is a "possibility" to replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.
Sources in Spain report that Williams is pushing for […]
26/02/2016 Pecking order similar to 2015 – Kvyat Feb.26 (GMM) After a full winter, and with a field full of new cars, it appears little has changed about the pecking order in F1. "I have the impression that, over the winter, the order […]