Formula 1 News

Bottas confident of exploiting Rosberg, Hamilton duel

Williams arrives to Spa-Francorchamps in optimistic fashion feeling that a victory is possible.
Thursday, August 21, 2014

SPA, Belgium, Aug 21, 2014 (AFP) - Valtteri Bottas believes his much-improved Mercedes-powered Williams team have their best opportunity of the season at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

As Formula One returns from its annual August holiday, four weeks after the Hungarian Grand Prix where Daniel Ricciardo claimed a surprise victory for Red Bull, the two Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton will continue their almost private duel for the title.

But the intensity of the battle to catch and, at some circuits, challenge them for victory will increase as the tension rises in the closing eight races of the 19-round season starting at the majestic old Belgian track in the forests of the Ardennes.

"I think in theory Spa, and Monza, should be the next really good ones for us, maybe the best opportunities of the season," said Finnish driver Bottas.

"But we need to aim to be strong in other places and we can't just rely on our good top speed."

Bottas believes that the power advantage provided by the Mercedes engines, and an efficient aerodynamic package, will enable the Williams cars to be extremely competitive in Belgium and Italy and a threat to both the Mercedes factory team and Red Bull, whose Renault engines this year have been disappointing.

Bottas' view is supported by that of Williams performance boss Rob Smedley who said: "Both tracks will suit our car very well -- mainly due to the fact
the power sensitivity at those tracks is very high. Every horsepower you have is worth more there than at other tracks.

"We know our car is very strong in these areas. Additionally, I think at somewhere like Spa, with harder compounds, it can sometimes be quite difficult to get the tyres turned on and I think our car can do that."

If all that spells problems for the Mercedes men, they are unlikely to show it and are sure to give the fans a strong showing whatever the weather at Spa-Francorchamps, where a capricious micro-climate can often produce rain and sunshine simultaneously at different places.

Felipe Massa, who has started to show strong form at Williams, also believes a victory is possible.

"I think it won't be easy, but it's not impossible," he said. "Maybe at a few of these tracks we can have more chance."
 

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F1 Standings

Drivers
Teams
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 159
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull Racing 405
3 Williams F1 320
4 Ferrari 214
5 McLaren 187
6 Sahara Force India 152

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Last F1 Race

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Island, Yas Marina Circuit
1
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
2
Felipe Massa
Williams F1
3
Valtteri Bottas
Williams F1
Fastest Lap

Daniel Ricciardo
1'44.496s

Pole Position

Nico Rosberg

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