When we talk about the five years that have passed since Valtteri Bottas Mercedes often highlights the points behind Lewis Hamilton, the Finn’s inability to compete for the title in the 2019-2020 two-year period – when Brackley’s was the only ‘good’ car to achieve world championship success – and the aptitude to let oneself be ‘sacrificed’ for team reasons. The native of Nastola, however, must be acknowledged that he has always played a fundamental role in the victories of Mercedes. In particular, this happened when it was necessary to take points away from the opponents, in the three seasons in which the silver arrows had to face an ‘external’ challenge: 2017, 2018 and obviously 2021.
This year, Bottas ‘contribution is fundamental for the Mercedes constructors’ classification. Despite three retirements against the only one of Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s box mate in Red Bull, the Finn won nine podiums. Three times the number brought home by ‘Checo’. The announcement of his move to Alfa Romeo starting in 2022, with the attached first multi-year contract of his career, seems to have definitively freed Bottas on a mental level. To confirm this are the ‘cold’ numbers and above all the data of points earnedthe.
The announcement of Bottas’ departure from Mercedes was made official on 6 September, the day after the Dutch GP, which the native of Nastola had finished in third place. Three races have been played since then, in Italy, Russia and Turkey. In these weekends, the future standard bearer of the Biscione has hit a first, a third and a fifth place. In addition, there was also the success in the Monza Sprint Qualifying. A booty of 54 points which is clearly the highest among those collected by all the riders on the grid. Verstappen stops at 38 and Hamilton 35. A demonstration of how the weight of the second Mercedes driver can in no way be underestimated in the last six races.