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Valtteri Bottas To Stay With Mercedes For 2018 F1 Season

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Bottas’ opening year with Mercedes was pretty strong. He secured his first F1 victory and added two more to that tally, including the finale in Abu Dhabi. Third place in the drivers’ championship, with team mate Lewis Hamilton winning the title, played a big part in helping Mercedes win a fourth successive constructors’ crown.

His weak point, though, was consistency. The high points were punctuated by lows. But on the evidence of the first third of this season, the Finn has made big gains in this area. If you remove the season-opener in Australia, where he crashed in qualifying and ruined his weekend, from consideration Bottas has barely put a foot wrong.

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He should have won in Azerbaijan. That would have given him five top-two finishes in the last six races. His other finish in that run was fifth in Monaco. Factoring in that Baku win, and adjusting the points for Hamilton and championship leader Sebastian Vettel, Bottas would still sit third in the drivers’ standings.

However, the points table would look dramatically different. Bottas would have 111 points, leaving him just two shy of Hamilton, with Vettel only six points further ahead at the summit. That’s title-contending form.

What a difference one result makes, eh? In reality, Bottas is on 86 points, 34 adrift of Hamilton, with Vettel a further point clear at the summit. There are, of course, 14 races – two thirds of the season – left. That’s a staggering 350 points in play.

So that deficit is not insurmountable. And Bottas can take comfort from a newfound consistency.


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Source : https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/features/2018/6/dark-horse--is-france-the-time-for-bottas-to-break-2018-winless-.html

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