According to 1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, Sergio Perez can be of more help to Max Verstappen’s title pursuit than Valtteri Bottas can be to Lewis Hamilton. Villeneuve believes Bottas is “simply too slow” to be of any value to Mercedes.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix saw both Perez and Bottas struggling with their cars. However, it was Perez who was able to keep his RB16B pointed in the right direction.
Perez qualified P2 after beating teammate Max Verstappen in the qualifying session. Bottas, on the other hand, was P8 on the grid. However, Perez struggled to drive his car in the wet conditions during the Grand Prix.
Bottas was at a mere ninth place when he had an unfortunate crash with George Russell which eliminated them both from the race.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff seemed to think that Russell was at fault and even joked about demoting him to “Renault Clio Cup”. Not everyone was able to see the funny side of this though, with one person in particular believing that Wolff had gone too far.
Villeneuve believes that Bottas was at fault after he made a short “jab”. He also blamed him for driving too slow considering that he was attacked by a Williams.
“I don’t quite understand Toto Wolff,” he told F1-Insider.com. “Why does he blame the young Brit in the collision with Mercedes junior Russell?
“Bottas knew exactly that his potential successor was about to overtake him and risked a serious accident with his short move to the right.
“He mustn’t do that under these difficult track conditions.
“But this shows how tense Bottas is already in the second race of the season. And that’s not going to get any better. Because he is simply too slow.
“If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have had to defend his position so over-hard against a Williams.”
Villeneuve seems to think that Verstappen has a much better partner in Perez than Hamilton has in Bottas.
“Perez is the newcomer to the Red Bull team and yet is already stronger than Bottas, who is in his fifth season with Mercedes,” he added.
“Perez can help Max more than Bottas can do for Hamilton.”
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