Was Valtteri Bottas Successful At Mercedes?

2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Saturday - Valtteri Bottas
2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Saturday - Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas has ended his five-season stint at Mercedes with a third-place finish in the 2021 F1 Drivers’ Championship. The Finn has been solid if unspectacular over the course of his career with the German outfit. He was signed in the aftermath of Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement at the end of the 2016 season. Rosberg had just reached the pinnacle of Formula One after beating out Lewis Hamilton for the Drivers’ Championship crown.

Instead of targeting a potential rival for Hamilton, Mercedes opted for a safe selection in the form of Bottas. The battle between Hamilton and Rosberg threatened to fracture the Mercedes team because of the intense competition down the stretch in the 2016 campaign. Bottas was brought into the side to maintain the dominance of Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship without threatening Hamilton as the number one driver on the team, and more importantly in the sport.

Bottas would have had ambitions of defeating his teammate to win the Drivers’ Championship, but lacked the clinical edge during his five seasons. The Finn endured his fair share of awful luck on the track. He suffered several frustrating results in the 2018 season as he struggled for form. Retirements knocked him off the pace of Hamilton a year later before the 2020 campaign pushed his patience to the brink. Bottas sustained tire failure at the British Grand Prix and then a puncture in Monza, preventing the Finn from challenging Hamilton at the top of the standings.

Further technical issues plagued him at the Nurburgring before he struck debris at Imola to ruin his race. A collision with Esteban Ocon would sum up his campaign, forcing him to place down in 14th in the Turkish Grand Prix, which allowed Hamilton to secure a fourth-straight title.

Bottas endured the same issues in the 2021 campaign, suffering four retirements throughout the campaign. As a result, he could not compete with Hamilton and Max Verstappen for the Drivers’ Championship. However, Bottas was solid on the track and notched a third-place finish in the standings in his last season with Mercedes. He will now hand off to George Russell before taking his spot at Alfa Romeo Racing for the 2022 term. 

Bottas will now drift down the odds for the Drivers’ Championship title following his move to Alfa Romeo, although you might be able to find value for the Finn to finish in the top three of the standings. Using Bonusfinder CA you can filter through the leading sports betting sites in Canada to find the best bonuses available for wagering on Formula One. Using a free bet provided by one of the betting operators on Bottas would be the best idea, given his chances for next term.

Before he arrived at Mercedes, Bottas was not a top contender for the crown, although he did place in fourth in his second season in Formula One for Williams. It is unlikely that he will find the same level of success he has enjoyed at Mercedes when he links up with Alfa Romeo, but he will have experience on his side. With a bit more luck, Bottas could push for a place in the top three to even push out his replacement Russell in the Drivers’ Championship. However, challenging Hamilton and Verstappen in 2022 at the top will be beyond the 31-year-old. 

Bottas enjoyed a solid career at Mercedes. From the perspective of the German outfit, he was the perfect partner to Hamilton to allow the Brit to dominate, although, from the view of the Finn, he will leave with a slight tinge of disappointment that he could not make a meaningful push for the crown in at least one term.

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