Bottas Needs to Be a ‘Swine’ to Beat Lewis Hamilton: Hill

Published 03/25/2021, 8:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Ever since Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017, he has mostly been on the rear wing of his teammate’s car, rather than leading the way himself. Lewis Hamilton absolutely dominated through the four-year stint with the Finn and is looking to make it five in a row this season.


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However, such a struggle wasn’t initially expected from Bottas, considering his strong phase with the Williams F1 team.

So what really went wrong? Why hasn’t Bottas been able to challenge Lewis?


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Well, former F1 driver, Damon Hill had the answer. The Briton reckoned that Bottas, being a Finnish, is way too nice for a driver like Lewis.

Hill’s advice for Valtteri Bottas

During a podcast, Hill claimed that Finn drivers, in general, are very nice and calm, lacking the “killer” ability to break down their rivals. He applied the same logic to Bottas as well and felt that the Mercedes driver should be a swine to start winning races frequently.

This is a very Finnish thing. And they seem very strange to us, but they’re very nice and calm. They have a very honest integrity thing about them,” he said while featuring in the F1 Nation podcast.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas arrives for testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

That is a problem in a way because you need to be a little bit of a swine. You need to be a little bit of a killer to able to destabilize Lewis Hamilton. And I don’t know if Valtteri’s got it in him.”

Bottas usually enjoys a strong start to each of the seasons he has spent with Mercedes. However, as races go by, that energy somehow vanishes, with Lewis using that to his advantage and taking over the dominion.

Could Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton this season?

One must consider the fact that Lewis is ageing and it could only be a matter of time before his prime form drops down a notch. And who knows, 2021 could be the year. This opens up the prospects of Bottas securing his first championship title.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The Finn, himself, is under immense pressure this season, with the need to perform at the highest order. One mishap could lead to his seat being handed to George Russell, who is patiently waiting in line.


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Hence, amid such a critical scenario, Bottas will be looking to give his everything and firing up his aggression a bit.

Overall, will this potential change in approach help Bottas finally win a teammate battle against the seven-time world champion, Lewis?


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‘F*** It’: Valtteri Bottas Admits to Doing Everything Possible to Beat Lewis Hamilton on Track

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Rohit Kumar

638 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.