Here’s why Valtteri Bottas’ comments on Charles Leclerc are something you just can’t miss!
In the present context of Formula 1, if there’s one predicament no driver would wish to face and would simply wish to avoid, then it would be to spot a Mercedes in his car’s rear. The mere appearance of the Mercedes car in the mirrors of an F1 car can instantly spell a potent threat. Moreover, being chased by a Silver Arrows, given just how dominant the team has been in the sport, of late, could be likened to a scenario where one’s being hunted down by a shark. Never a piece of good news, is it?
While on the one hand, Lewis Hamilton, by virtue of his unmatched consistency, has simply raised the bar for the other drivers on the grid, Valtteri Bottas, on the other hand, has emerged the sterling second-best driver in the sport, perhaps trailing Hamilton about as closely as was Sebastian Vettel as of the last year. The Finn started off this year strongly with a fantastic win at Melbourne and would go onto repeat his winning form courtesy a bright drive at Baku, scene of a major heartbreak for Bottas the last year.
In his own right, Bottas isn’t the easiest man to beat, someone, who despite battling struggling form and poor luck for much of the last year, emerged with 7 fastest laps, giving all a peek into his abilities. But recently, only one man seems to have emerged as somewhat of a threat in Mercedes’ way, a team that won 10 of the 12 Grands Prix leading into the mid-season break.
That man is Charles Leclerc, someone who denied both Mercedes drivers a win at Monza. In winning Ferrari’s second race of the year, at the back of a consecutive triumph, beginning from Spa-Francorchamps, Leclerc’s rescued the fortunes of Ferrari’s fledgling 2019 campaign. But his effort was so seminal in reviving Ferrari at a time where nothing was going right for the Maranello-based outfit that even Valtteri Bottas, not the most talkative man on the grid could keep himself off lavishing some praise on the Monegasque driver.
In that light, therefore, it’s important to visit Valtteri Bottas’ comments on Charles Leclerc in the aftermath of the 53-lap run at the home of the Italian Grand Prix. This is not just because Valtteri Bottas’ comments on the Ferrari driver truly capture the talent and skill of the youngster but also suggest Bottas’ own goodness, someone who’s not high-headed in the wake of being an important member of the most consistently successful outfit on the grid today.
While the Mercedes driver had no fewer than the 10 laps in the end from which to mount a charge on Leclerc’s leading Ferrari, that Charles was able to defend extensively, never allowing the Finn to come within five-tenths of a second earned the lavish praise, hence Valterri Bottas’ comments on Charles Leclerc:
I haven’t seen anything from the race apart from what I saw in the car, so I can’t say much.
I heard some talk in the press conference but I have no clue what happened [between Leclerc and Hamilton].
But for sure he’s racing hard. When you’re in the lead there’s no way you want to give it up.
“For a young guy, he is a very tough racer, which is good to see. “I wasn’t thinking about that [the championship]. I was just thinking about the best possible result I could get.”
One feels, Valtteri Bottas’ comments make a fair assessment of the most exciting youngster on the grid, isn’t it?
At a time where Hamilton is still very much the man in charge of the top step on the Driver Standings, currently enjoying a 63-point lead on his Finnish counterpart, it’s not that Bottas has given up on the world title fight.
There are still 8 more races to go and one feels that a couple of good performances up ahead could bring Valtteri closer to Lewis, thus making the contest a two-way fight.