F1 Commentator Calls Out Mercedes for Double Standards in Hamilton-Bottas Treatment

Published 06/10/2021, 9:11 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 6, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea


So far in the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have experienced contrasting fortunes. However, Mercedes has often chalked Hamilton’s recent spate of bad results to accidents. Meanwhile, the same cannot be said for poor old Bottas. In light of this, some have called out Mercedes for their double standards.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

According to Match TV commentator Alexey Popov, Toto Wolff’s double standard is quite obvious. This is in relation to his treatment of his two Mercedes drivers. With each passing race and dismal performance, Valtteri Bottas’ 2022 seat falls further under threat.

It does not help the Finn’s case that Williams star driver George Russell keeps putting himself on the market. As the young Briton continues to bang in solid performances, he inches closer to the Mercedes seat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH STORY: Lewis Hamilton: Ranking His F1 World Titles From 2008 to 2020

What did the commentator say about the Mercedes driver situation?

Popov said, “Bottas hinted that maybe he should have a new chassis after Baku. But Toto said ‘no, no – it’s just that Lewis (Hamilton) is so much faster because he believes in the car more. It’s starting to get silly. After Monaco, the first thing he (Wolff) said was that because Bottas didn’t line up right, the mechanics couldn’t get the wheel off in the pitstop.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talk on stage at the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

The Russian admitted that that in itself isn’t enough evidence to prove his theory. However, he cited Wolff’s recent comments about Lewis Hamilton’s error that cost him a win and a points finish. He noted that when Hamilton made the mistake, Toto Wolff insisted that the reigning champion ‘accidentally flicked a switch’. In addition to that, it was not a mistake but Sergio Perez forced him into making the ‘mistake’.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Honestly, everyone has started to laugh at this,” the Russian insists. “Not Bottas, of course, because he feels more and more like an outcast at the team. Whatever he does, it’s his fault. If something goes well for him, it’s thanks to the team.”

The big question is, what does Mercedes get out of allegedly alienating the Finn? Can they really afford to leave Hamilton to bring home the bacon all on his own? With both Red Bull cars firing on all cylinders, should Mercedes afford to focus their efforts on Hamilton and sacrifice the constructor’s championship?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Mercedes ‘Actively Looking’ to Move Brake Magic Button on Lewis Hamilton’s F1 Steering Wheel

4 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Dhruv George

11616 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT