Ex-Formula 1 driver Alexander Wurz thinks Lewis Hamilton will up the mind games if Valtteri Bottas continues to be capable of beating him.
After five races of the 2019 season, it appears an inter-team battle for the Drivers’ World Championship is building up with Hamilton seven points clear of Bottas following his victory and fastest lap bonus in Spain.
A resurgent Bottas has claimed two victories, though, prompting Hamilton to say that he took it easy against the Finn in Baku.
He also drew attention to the fact that Bottas is following Hamilton’s settings now that Riccardo Musconi has moved over to the Finn’s side of the garage as senior race engineer.
And Wurz, who returned to Williams as a mentor in 2012 when Bottas was in his final year as reserve driver, thinks those digs will increase if Bottas can remain in hot pursuit of Hamilton.
“You can already notice the first little taunts,” Wurz told Speed Week. “The better Bottas does, the more Hamilton will react.
“Bottas can and should fight for the World Championship.
“Last year he had some technical bad luck and was not yet so well established in the team. But he has set himself up well in the winter and now drives with confidence.”
Wurz also sees the Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc partnership at Ferrari as a “fascinating” dynamic.
“That [partnership] will be influenced from the outside, especially by the media,” he added.
“It will be fascinating to see what happens.
“Leclerc made the most of his learning year at Sauber and has coped well with the jump to a team top. But he has to deliver top results now, so there is a lot of pressure.”