Schumacher: There is no new Bottas

Ralf Schumacher

Ralf Schumacher paints bleak picture for future of German motorsport.

Former Formula 1 racer Ralf Schumacher believes Valtteri Bottas only won in Australia due to Lewis Hamilton’s floor damage.

Bottas won the race by a 20 second margin over his team-mate who suffered balance and tyre management issues, with the team later confirming that an element of the floor on Hamilton’s car was missing.

Schumacher cited this as the only reason for Bottas‘ dominance, claiming Hamilton is faster in qualifying and race trim – a trend that will return from now on.

“I would say that was just a good weekend for him – no more and no less,” Schumacher said on his Starting Grid podcast.

“I would not interpret that much.

“He showed in qualifying that he is on the level of Hamilton, but in the end he was still a tenth away because he has just made the famous mistake – without [Hamilton’s damaged] underbody and the start it would be the usual picture I’m pretty sure.

“That’s why: Yes, it’s good that he made it, but we do not have a new Bottas, which would be very surprising.”

Schumacher, a six-time race winner in Formula One, believes that Bottas needs to build momentum if he has any chance of competing with Hamilton, saying the Brit’s strongest weapon is his consistency.

“Bottas definitely needs the momentum – no question about last year – and he’s a driver anyway, who can be as quick as an arrow, but not so constant – and not so constantly under pressure,” he explained.

“He did not really have that kind of pressure that race because he could lead.

“Lewis’s strength is his consistency, his ability to race at the right time, and then I want him [Bottas] to do it, but I would be very surprised if he had learned that over the winter.

“It’s also a character thing after all, but he still drove a strong race, which makes me very happy for him.”

However, Schumacher believes that if both Mercedes had have been in full health, Hamilton would still have struggled to pass his team-mate for the win.

“Lewis would have had to overtake him with a good car first, and I would not have seen it that weekend,” he stated.

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