Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas did not start this year's championship very well. He failed to join his teammate Lewis Hamilton in the first race in the fight against Max Verstappen. Johnny Herbert believes that Bottas, in addition to strong media criticism, is exactly what Mercedes, Toto Wolff and Hamilton want from driver number two.
"Bottas has been attacked with negative comments from all sides as many say he is not doing well in his career. But he had good performances. On some occasions he beat Lewis. The point is that he doesn't have that pace very often.
" "But even when he doesn't have that speed, he manages to deliver to the team what Mercedes needs, and those are the points for the constructors' championship, and Bottas is brilliant in that." "Does it cause problems in the team? No.
He is what Toto wants, absolutely. Is he what Lewis wants? Yes, ”explains Herbert.
George Russell speculation
The speculation that Mercedes could bring in George Russell in the middle of the season to give him a chance to learn from Hamilton is considered by Herbert a possible occurrence of problems that Hamilton and Wolff currently do not want as Lewis chases his eighth championship title.
"You don't want problems and fights and things like that. George could do just that, as we saw in Bahrain. But Valtteri has worked a lot since he got into Mercedes and he's getting better, ”says Johnny. Bottas said before the start of the season that he would be more selfish and demanding of Mercedes in the fight against his teammate.
But the first race of the year in Bahrain proved that there will obviously be none of these demands. "It's still not enough to beat Lewis. I don't think anyone in that car would have an easy life, even Max or Charles would have a hard time overcoming it, ”concludes Herbert.
Although there has already been a lot of criticism of Bottas, no one doubts that Bottas will be much better in the future, and most are aware of his talent and skills. Mercedes is the favorite this year, just like the previous ones, but there are many other teams that have improved in all segments.
Maybe this season will be the hardest for Mercedes, but considering the quality of Hamilton and Bottas, the chances for such a thing are not so big.