Mar.29 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton says he has not seen a big change in Valtteri Bottas in 2019.
“For me it’s the same Valtteri as before, except that now he has a beard,” the Mercedes driver smiled.
However, after a full winter of being criticised for his poor performances in 2018, amid speculation he will be replaced by Esteban Ocon for 2020, Finn Bottas won in Melbourne and issued a “f**k you” to his critics on the radio.
He said in Bahrain: “I can say for sure that something in my mindset has changed for this year.”
Hamilton, Bottas’ Mercedes teammate, is not so sure.
“Whether it’s really a new Valtteri or not, we will see,” he said. “But I never saw him as weak anyway.
“Melbourne doesn’t change anything for me. Valtteri was already strong in 2018, he was just unlucky in a few races.
“I never doubted for a moment that he would win again,” Hamilton added.
Former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld, though, says Bottas was extremely strong in Melbourne.
“He not only won but also in qualifying he looked like the stronger driver, even though he was not on pole,” the German told Sky Deutschland.
“He probably did a lot over the winter in all areas to take advantage of the opportunity he has at Mercedes,” Heidfeld added.
Hamilton also hit out at Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain, after the Ferrari driver declared in Melbourne that the reigning world champion had appeared “bored” during the 2019 season opener.
“Sometimes it’s easier to blame other people when things are not going so well for you,” Hamilton said of the German.
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11/05/2019 Bottas does not need psychological coach May 11 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas says his surge of form in 2019 is due to his improved psychological approach to Formula 1. The Finn was devastated to be roundly beaten by Mercedes teammate […]
15/03/2019 Hamilton prefers Bottas over Ocon for 2020 Mar.15 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton has urged Mercedes to keep its same driver lineup beyond 2019. Actually, Valtteri Bottas' place alongside the five time world champion is in serious doubt, […]
04/02/2019 Bottas could be back to normal in 2019 – Montoya Feb.4 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas has admitted a few sips of alcohol helped him through the winter period. The Finn struggled alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2018 and it is now rumoured this year […]
06/12/2018 Bad season not all Bottas’ fault – Salo Dec.6 (GMM) Former F1 driver Mika Salo has defended Valtteri Bottas at the end of a bad season for his fellow Finn. Many are questioning Bottas' psychological state, after a […]
06/05/2019 Bottas hopes for 2020 Mercedes deal May 6 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas is hoping to be retained by Mercedes beyond 2019. The Finn had a bad 2018 season, but after four races and a new attitude in 2019 he is leading the world […]
22/02/2019 Bottas prepared to be the ‘villain’ in 2019 Feb.22 (GMM) A bullish Valtteri Bottas says he is determined to beat Lewis Hamilton in 2019. The Finn was disappointed with his performance last year, and could lose his place at […]
25/02/2019 ‘Nothing fundamentally wrong’ with car – Bottas Feb.25 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas insists there is nothing "fundamentally wrong" with Mercedes' 2019 car. The Finn was asked about the apparent half a second gap that separates the reigning […]
08/03/2019 Bottas gets Hamilton engineer for 2019 Mar.8 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas new a new race engineer for 2019. The Mercedes driver struggled last year, and for 2019 has emerged with a determined attitude and a new beard. The Finn also […]
08/07/2017 Wolff rules out Ocon for Mercedes in 2018 Jul.8 (GMM) Toto Wolff has ruled out signing up Esteban Ocon to replace Valtteri Bottas for 2018. Currently, while happy with Bottas' performance at Mercedes this year after he replaced […]