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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - DECEMBER 03: George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP talks to the media in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit on December 03, 2020 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Could Valtteri Bottas beat George Russell?

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Valtteri Bottas has been the second driver at Mercedes since 2017, acting as a ‘wingman’ to Lewis, but Bottas is vocal in saying that this is not a roll he is happy with. With Lewis only signing a one year contract, a Bottas/Russell line-up becomes possible in 2022. Following this, I take a look at if the flying Finn can beat George Russell, here’s my opinion:

In short, yes, Bottas can beat Russell in 2022 (assuming they are both in a Mercedes). I’m not just saying this because I am a massive fan of Valtteri, as I also like George. I think George will make it incredibly difficult for Valtteri, I think George has a chance of beating Valtteri, but for the purpose of this article I will be putting my Valtteri fan hat on, and saying why he can beat George.

George showed in Sakhir that he won’t need much time to adapt in the Mercedes, nevertheless, in certain situations Valtteri’s years of experience in the Mercedes will give him the upper hand. Both in terms of tyre management (as Sakhir was not a tyre heavy circuit) and in terms of race craft. Bottas will know the limits of his car, it will take George a few races to get to grips with this and by that time Valtteri could have had the chance to open up a healthy lead in the championship.

Despite always finishing second to Hamiton, Bottas is a quality driver in himself. He’s won races, pushes Hamilton every week in qualifying, and fully deserves his seat in the Merc, Hamilton is just such a special talent that simply no one else can match him. George vs Valtteri should see week on week competition, making the racing exciting to watch. You may say that George will dominate Valtteri based on his fantastic overtake in Sakhir, I agree that overtake was one of the best of the season, but its important to remember that Valtteri was on very old tyres compared to George’s fresh set due to a pitstop blunder by Mercedes, so there was no way that Bottas could defend that move.

I mentioned Bottas’ bad luck in 2020 in the article you can see below, so I won’t go into detail again, but if Valtteri Bottas’ luck improves there’s nothing to say he won’t be able to properly challenge for a title. As he gets older he gets hungrier, and with his supportive family behind him there’s no reason he can’t go all the way.

Why Valtteri Bottas could become 2021 World Champion

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