Tag Archives: Finn

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has four options to replace Valtteri Bottas if team axe Finn

You have to feel for Valtteri Bottas. When he signed for Mercedes in 2017 – it must have felt like a dream come true. The fastest car in Formula 1, the most successful team, a championship winning package – and yet, coming into his fifth year at the team, he’s mostly had a string of second place finishes on his CV, constantly overshadowed by his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton.
And finishing second is not to be sniffed at, but you ask any racing driver where they want to finish, and 10 times out of 10 it’ll be ‘the top step.’

So has this now become a case of wrong place, wrong time for the Finn?

It’s difficult to answer that because it’s incredibly hard to imagine F1 without his team-mate. He’s helped shape the championship into what it is now, on and off the track, he’s smashed more titles than I can remember – he is about to become the most decorated driver in F1 history, if he wins his eighth world title.

With the Briton all but signing the contract to say he’s staying on at Mercedes for a few more years, where does that leave Bottas?

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RED BULL’S MAX VERSTAPPEN

Max Verstappen is a natural go to, if we’re talking about who can replace Bottas, however away from the fine print in his contract meaning potentially he could head to Mercedes, would he want to? At the moment, Verstappen has the second best package on the grid, and has already proved he’s an incredibly talented driver.

But realistically, with Hamilton staying at Mercedes, It wouldn’t make sense for Verstappen to make the move just yet. The Dutchman would come in as the second driver to Hamilton, who has been with Mercedes for nearly a decade, winning six world titles with them.

Right now, Verstappen is the number one driver at Red Bull – he’s been affiliated with the team since 2014, before being promoted to the top team in 2016, with a mid-season swap with Daniil Kvyat that saw him become the youngest ever race winner.

And having made his debut in the championship at just 17 years old, he’s already in his seventh season, and admitted: “I have a contract at Red Bull until 2023, and I am very happy where I am. There is no reason to change.”

And in some ways, you have to believe him. If he comes in alongside Hamilton, he could lose his stature as the best driver in the team. If he stays at Red Bull and beats Hamilton, he becomes the only driver to have beaten Mercedes in seven years of dominance. To me, that seems a much tastier choice.

WILLIAMS’ GEORGE RUSSELL:

Arguably the most viable replacement for Bottas, if indeed he decides to leave Williams when his contract is up for renewal at the end of the season, with some reporting they thought Mercedes could even bring the Briton in mid-season, something that looks highly doubtful will happen.

Mercedes have denied this is the case, with Toto Wolff, the team-principal saying that “unless he [Bottas] gets flu and can’t drive he’s going to be in that car”.

Wolff joked that they don’t intend to play “musical chairs” like a certain rival might – a nod to Red Bull’s occasional revolving door, swapping drivers mid-season as they did in both 2016 and 2019.

Of course not forgetting he’s an actual junior driver for the team, Russell has been waiting in the wings patiently after getting a taste at the front when he almost won deputising for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix last season.

Though there were some concerns he had blown his shot in Imola when colliding with the Finn after a high-speed crash, it was a concern that Mercedes dismissed, with the Williams driver remaining a strong contender for the seat.

ALPINE’S ESTEBAN OCON:

Ocon has arguably been waiting in the wings even longer than Russell, so long that he actually forfeited his role as a Mercedes junior driver in order to join Renault on a two-year deal.

Despite sitting out 2019 as reserve driver for Mercedes, the Frenchman has impressed in his second year with the team with three points finishes out of four, outperforming two-time champion team-mate Fernando Alonso.

And Wolff hasn’t ruled the 24-year-old out. “Ocon is in the second year of a two-year contract with Renault or Alpine F1 this year, Russell is with Williams this year. So there are some variations for 2022,” he said.

“But,” he added, “until then our full support goes to Valtteri and Lewis.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Helen McCrory's on-screen son from Peaky Blinders, Finn Cole, pays tribute 'Thank you mum'

The London-born actor went on to reveal that his late co-star was behind some of the success he’d gained in his acting career.

Finn continued: “She was also someone that I also thank for a lot of the success in my career, the lessons she taught me onscreen and off screen, she pulled a performance out of me that I didn’t even think I was capable of and that’s credit to what a talent she was.”

“She was witty, classy and just really f*****g cool, far too young and beautiful to play my mother.”

The star went on to state that he would miss his on-screen mum “greatly.”

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Valtteri Bottas outlines Lewis Hamilton title plans as Finn looks to take Brit's F1 crown

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he “absolutely believes” he can win the Formula One 2021 world title, and has spent the winter months working on a “step by step” plan to make it happen.
Mental health is something that has not always been talked about enough within life, and especially in sport, and Formula One is no different.

However, now is a time that people can be more honest about their mindset, and Bottas is no different in that sense, knowing the psychological battles in F1 never just remain on track.

Speaking at the Mercedes car launch, the Finn admitted this winter, he’s taken a step back, with a plan to come back mentally happier in a bid to beat Hamilton this season.

“It’s important to switch off, and it’s important to disconnect. Many times when you step out from the sport for let’s say a couple of weeks, you start processing things, and you realise things when you see the big picture,” he said.

“An example was last year. There were races I couldn’t affect, but there were many races that I could’ve done a better job.

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“Still from my side, the big thing is consistency. Many times I perform at the level I want to, but then there’s times that for some reason I don’t, and I feel like I couldn’t get 100 per cent out of myself and the team around me.

“I think I’ve realised that a lot of that is the mental side of things.”

Bottas goes head-to-head with Hamilton once again this season, in his fifth for the championship-winning team Mercedes, however he has yet to beat the seven-time world champion to the title, a driver who has been alongside the Finn since he joined in 2017.

Bottas has won two races in Austria and Russia, but he struggled for any consistency alongside Hamilton, who picked up 11 wins in 17 races.

“Although Lewis has won the titles, [whilst we have been] team mates over the years I’ve been with the team, I’m going into the new year starting afresh with this edge,” he said.

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“Absolutely I believe I can fight for the title and that’s of course my goal for the season. That’s my target, but it’s a long way until that and we need to take it really step by step.

Bottas says he has learnt a lot from his time in Formula One already, especially over the last few seasons, working hard to perfect his driving style, and technique – whilst also getting a grasp on the Pirelli tyres in his bid to beat Hamilton.

But when asked about how he’s approaching the season, in which could be his final with the Mercedes outfit, the Finn said he’d had a lot to think about over the past few months.

He continued: “I think a lot of the work and focus this season is the mental side of things, and trying to be mentally at my best at the Grand Prix, and trying to find the right way of approaching every single Grand Prix weekend, to try and find more often the, let’s say, flow, state and in that way the consistency of there season.

“Some of my years in Formula One, definitely I put too much pressure on myself; there’s been times where I’ve taken too much pressure from the outside and there’s been also vice versa,” he said, “that there has not been maybe enough pressure from my side. It’s all about finding that balance and playing with that,” he continued. 

“And the only thing to do to let the team know, in terms of how they’re pressuring you, is to discuss about things. Same for myself, I need to be honest with everything and try to find a good way and have a happy head for every single Grand Prix.

“But that’s the tricky part, that’s the same thing in every sport: there’s not been an athlete ever, who’s been completely 100% of their performance capacity in every single event they’ve done, but I have to get there more often.”

And when asked about how he’s been working on his mental health, the Finn opted to keep some things to himself.

He added: “It’s my private matter and I also don’t want to share all the techniques, etcetera. But as I said before it’s something I have had more focus on over the winter and will focus on more over the season.

“If I need help I will use more professional help. If not, then I use the mirror!” he replied.

Bottas is out of contract at the end of this season, with all to prove at Mercedes to keep his seat in the future.

It could also be his last chance to beat Hamilton on track, with the seven-time world champion opting for just a one-year deal too, and with the likes of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes junior driver and current Williams driver George Russell waiting in the wings, Bottas has a lot to contend with this year to snatch the title.