Formula One team Alfa Romeo’s driver and Lewis Hamilton’s former Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas has been branded a ‘loser’ by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. At the end of the 2021 F1 season, the Finnish driver left the Silver Arrows after five years to join Alfa Romeo — where he replaced Kimi Raikkonen.
“That’s the big difference between him and Bottas, who is a loser when it comes to overtaking,” Marko was quoted as saying by mirror.co.uk. “He’s super-fast, but he can’t overtake in traffic.”
Marko suggests Sergio Perez was more beneficial to his team than Bottas was to Mercedes, as the Mexican could support Max Verstappen’s bid for the title. Marko believes Bottas’ issues derived from his inability to overtake, compared to that of Red Bull’s own driver, Perez.
An example of this was witnessed in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month, when Perez did a stellar job of holding up Hamilton early on in the race while Verstappen closed the gap to his rival. In contrast, Bottas was stuck in the middle of the pack throughout the race and had little impact on Hamilton’s bid to win at the Yas Marina circuit, he explained.
Ahead of the new season, Bottas commented on the future of his ex-teammate, who has fuelled speculation he could dramatically retire from the sport after falling silent on social media following his title heartbreak in Abu Dhabi. On a podcast with Supla, Bottas argued that he believes Hamilton will return to the sport.
“I saw him many days after the race and the mood was still like at a funeral,” he said. “Even when he knows it wasn’t him who lost that race and he was robbed of it, you know, it’s hard to swallow it being taken away like that. But you just wait and he’ll be back twice as strong as he does every time, that’s who he is.”