Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher feels that Valtteri Bottas should ask himself why he was involved in a battle with a Williams car. The race saw an unfortunate accident when George Russell crashed into Bottas’ Mercedes, eliminating both from the event.
But, Bottas was barely in the mix for a great result anyway. The Mercedes driver managed to qualify in P8 and found himself fighting hard to stay in the top 10 during tricky race conditions.
Fighting at the bottom of the first half was an unfamiliar experience for the team. So much so that even Toto Wolff had to hand out words of encouragement for the Finn on the radio.
Unfortunately, everything ended on lap 30 as Russell’s risky manoeuvre took out Bottas and himself.
Schumacher, however, feels that things would have been different if Bottas had been battling up on the field at a position befitting the car he had.
“Bottas is not a left-handed driver and at over 300 km/h he certainly doesn’t play games,” Schumacher told Sky Germany.
“But he certainly didn’t want to let Russell pass like that either.
“In general, he must ask himself why he had to fight off a Williams deep in the midfield.
“So often he has driven at a similar level to Hamilton, but now he is miles away from that.
“At Mercedes they try to explain it by a lack of grip on Bottas’ rear axle – for me the whole Valtteri Bottas package is lacking grip at the moment.
“There has to be more to come, otherwise he’ll quickly drive himself onto the sidelines.”
Bottas was not the only one who Schumacher spoke about. He took aim at other experienced drivers who were in a difficult situation with their team this season.
“Sebastian Vettel drove in the middle of nowhere,” he added. “Brake failure, time penalty, gearbox failure – the unlucky lady was particularly busy again.
“That’s why it’s difficult to assess his performance on Sunday. He doesn’t want any sympathy, he told us that right after the race when we interviewed him, but somehow a lot reminds us of his last Ferrari year, only everything in green.
“Sebastian now has to catch up in the next one or two races, catch up with his teammate and overtake him.
“The experienced drivers in their new teams, Vettel, Perez, Ricciardo, they have not yet arrived, they are not yet at one with the car.
“‘It’s a question of time’ say their bosses, this kind of patience didn’t exist in the past. Of course, we had more tests, but if the results weren’t there quickly, we were counted out.”
Do you think Schumacher has a valid point on Bottas’ crash? Let us know in the comments below!