Former Mercedes man Valtteri Bottas has been branded a ‘failure’ by Formula 1 pundit Marc Surer, following the Finn’s role in the loss of Lewis Hamilton ’s world title in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton found himself with a comfortable lead and within touching distance of a record eighth world title, before a contentious decision by Michael Masi allowed title rival Max Verstappen to get well into the race.
As a result the FIA boss controversially allowed a number of lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen passed a safety car, meaning the Dutchman was able to slash the seven-time champion’s lead to leave them side-by-side with one lap to go.
The battling pair were then left to play out a one lap shootout to decide the world championship, which Verstappen won to the despair of former champion Hamilton.
Whilst Hamilton battled it out for the title, his usual trusty teammate Bottas was nowhere to be seen, after becoming swamped in the middle of the pack early on.
Following his fairly dismal display, former driver Surer slammed his performance and described the Finn as a ‘failure’.
He said: “Bottas is actually a failure in traffic. He always gets stuck and has an insanely hard time.
“The guy just can’t overtake other cars that are over a second slower with the fastest car in the field. That’s his weakness.”
Bottas has often been by the side of his ex-teammate Hamilton throughout the season, filling in the vacant spot on the podium alongside the Englishman and Verstappen on many occasions.
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And the 70-year-old believes if Bottas would have been alongside Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, the Brit would have been crowned world champion.
He continued: “Max wouldn’t have made it. Overtaking two cars in one lap would not have worked. But Bottas was nowhere.”
Whilst Hamilton’s teammate struggled his title rival’s right-hand man Sergio Perez thrived, after the Red Bull racer put in a fine defensive display early on to limit the 36-year-old’s lead.
Following this Perez was labelled a ‘legend’ by his team and fellow driver Verstappen, however Surer was once again short of praise.
Whilst heavily criticising Bottas, the Swiss did reveal that he felt the Finn had been a much better wingman throughout the season compared to Perez.
He added: “He [Bottas] always gets it right on a single lap [in qualifying], and he sometimes gets it so right he is ahead of Hamilton.
“He can do that – and that is precisely Perez’s weakness.”
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