There will always be rivalries in Formula one. Get a bunch of over-paid ego-driven posh boys in romper suits together and it’s bound to happen but as those that will have lost money on him at ComeOn! Sportsbook will know the way in which Finnish formula one driver Valtteri Bottas has been treated by Ferrari is starting to look like a targeted use and abuse of the Williams driver for their own purposes.
Kimi Barges Bottas
• Last lap lunge
• Adds insult to injury
• Season all but over
Valtteri Bottas must be wondering at this point what Ferrari have against him. The Finnish formula one driver seems to have been picked as the teams whipping boy despite not actually being part of their team. I mean accusations of victimization would be a tad over the top, but a case could be made that having first used the young Finn, Ferrari have now taken to abusing him too. Naturally the Italian team would deny this, but then the evidence speaks for itself.
Those that like to bet on sports in Finland will already be painfully aware that being a Finnish formula one driver is a bit of a mixed blessing at the best of times (just ask Mika Hakkinen) but for Valtteri Bottas there’s a degree of living within the shadow of Kimi Raikkonen that casts a pall over his efforts, especially in such a regimented season where budgets count and everything else is just window dressing for the dwindling number of punters watching.
They call F1 a circus, and if that’s accurate Valtteri Bottas has been this seasons’ clown, and as with most clowns the laughs have come from the tragic nature of events, although this is perhaps unfair in Valtteri’s case given he’s a Finnish formula one driver and not a wig-nose-and-make-up clown1. Now obviously some will think this a reference to the poor performance of the Williams team car this season, although it hasn’t actually fallen apart or disgorged an unfeasible number of midgets yet, but actually it’s just the repeated kick in the pants Valterri has had to put up with.
1 Please note that actual clowns aren’t funny in any way, shape or form, and the only real tragedy about clowns is that they’ve not all been rounded up, forced into “I Love Israel” T-shirts, and pushed out of aircraft over Syria to be captured and then beheaded by the only people in the entire world less funny than them.
Finnish Formula One Driver Finished?
It began with rumors of dissatisfaction with Raikkonen’s driving. His bad luck at the start of the season was uncommonly ghastly, with unforced errors haunting the car, his pit crew and (at times) his own judgment. There were retirements, crashes, and despite the odd podium nothing much to write home about. Ferrari were not pleased and nor was Raikkonen, the frustration manifest, especially when the media began to speculate about the team dumping the Finnish formula one driver.
The media, being as imaginative as a terminally depressed lemming, looked around for who might replace the Finnish formula one driver at Ferarri and settled on another Finnish formula one driver, Valtteri Bottas. Having seized upon this as a possibility the paddock’s press pack whipped up an entire production number that pitted the two Finns against each other in some mythical battle for the driver’s seat of a Ferrari next season, something that at the time Ferrari weren’t all that unhappy about.
As it transpired this was all just a bit of a ploy by Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene to get better performances out of Raikkonen, and also quite probably to put him a better position in wage negotiations with the Finnish formula one driver. They’d been gambling news coverage would spur him on to better results, which perhaps it did a little, but in the end it left Valtteri Bottas with hopes raised high and then dashed on the rocks of callous corporate calculation as Raikkonen signed and Ferrari kept him.
Is Bottas Ferrari’s Whipping Boy?
At last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix (won, unsurprisingly Lewis Hamilton in the dominant Mercedes) the final laps produced a moment that Valterri Bottas might consider adding insult to injury as he came wheel to wheel with the other Finnish formula one driver and ended up out of the race. Kimi Raikkonen’s maneuver was far more the rough and tumble of racing than a deliberate attempt to knock Bottas out but it was still far too aggressive and when the race was done he was punished for it.
Raikkonen losing 30 seconds, and thus slipping in the final result from fifth to eighth, will probably be of very little cold comfort to the younger Finnish formula one driver, who was basically barged off the track by his fellow countryman who was, frankly, just miffed Vettel was once again doing so much better than he was. It appeared very much that Ferrari were taking their issues out on Valtteri Bottas just because he happened to be there at the time.
The only reason more fuss isn’t being made is that this season is all but done and dusted now. Hamilton will wrap it up either next race or the one after, and the constructors’ championship has already been settled in Mercedes favor so most people are looking ahead to next season now. Red Bull are threatening to quit (again), there’ll be a street race in Baku and oh yes and if you’re Finnish gambling laws of poetic justice will see Valtteri beat out Raikkonen next year, don’t bet on it. Life just isn’t that beautiful.