Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
28 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
51 days
09 May
Next event in
69 days
23 May
Race in
86 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
100 days
13 Jun
Race in
107 days
27 Jun
Race in
121 days
04 Jul
Next event in
125 days
18 Jul
Race in
142 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
156 days
29 Aug
Race in
184 days
05 Sep
Race in
191 days
12 Sep
Race in
198 days
26 Sep
Race in
212 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
216 days
10 Oct
Race in
226 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
240 days
31 Oct
Race in
247 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
268 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
282 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
289 days

Hamilton engineer swap a "great opportunity" for Bottas

Valtteri Bottas says he was given a "great opportunity" in 2019 to work with one of Lewis Hamilton's ex-engineers and learn more about the six-time Formula 1 world champion's methods.

shares
comments
Hamilton engineer swap a "great opportunity" for Bottas

Bottas needed a new race engineer this season after Tony Ross moved across to Mercedes' fledgling Formula E entry, and the decision was taken to replace him with Hamilton's performance engineer Riccardo Musconi.

At the start of 2019 Bottas won two of the first four races and led the points, and though he eventually faded from title contention and was defeated by Hamilton he had stronger form through the season than ever before.

Bottas said part of that progress was aided by being able to work with Musconi for the first time.

"It was good for me to have a change, a different way of working with engineers," Bottas told Motorsport.com.

"And also getting Ricci from Lewis's side, he's been working with him, so he knows very much in detail about his driving techniques and ways of setting up the car.

"For sure, it was always going to be a great opportunity for me to get maybe something even more than what I normally get in the meetings and what I see from the data.

"It was nice to have that kind of approach on the engineering side."

Read Also:

Three years ago, when Hamilton was partnered with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, a change of team personnel was the source of some discontent with the world champion.

Mercedes made five changes in the engineering line-up on each car for 2016, including swapping the number one mechanics being swapped, with the changes a mixture of normal staff turnover and personnel being moved from one crew to the other.

Bottas said the fact Musconi could move across to his team without it causing angst was a testament to the positive relationship Mercedes' current drivers have.

"There's never been a problem about that," said Bottas. "It definitely shows that we deal with things as they come in.

"He [Hamilton] is still hungry to be even better than what he is now. For him also, with different people, it's always an opportunity as well."

Though Hamilton has no issue with the engineering personnel change he has admitted it made things "harder" for him.

He said that was down to building a strong relationship with his engineering team, which means he has a bigger job to start again, while also giving a potential advantage to his team-mate and rival.

"He is a very talented engineer and naturally he wants to progress, no-one wants to stay in the same position and being lead engineer has got to be a great goal for an engineer," Hamilton said.

"But we had learned so much and working together I had pulled things out of him that perhaps he didn't realise he would have, or maybe it would've taken longer to have done, and vice-versa.

"So then when he goes over to the other side, without doubt he'd have been saying, 'Valtteri, why weren't you doing these things, Lewis does this, why are you not doing that?'.

"This year it has made it even more challenging because I'm thinking: 'OK how do I twist it? How do I change these small things now that they're doing the same, without losing performance?'

"Now I've got to refine it and take a step up. When it's already close to 100%, taking that 1%, the gap closes. So bringing in a new ace is so hard to find."

Top 50: All-time F1 World Championship Grand Prix race leaders

Previous article

Top 50: All-time F1 World Championship Grand Prix race leaders

Next article

Rating the 2019 Formula 1 rookies

Rating the 2019 Formula 1 rookies
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Teams Mercedes
Author Scott Mitchell
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021
How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules Prime

How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules

AlphaTauri launched its AT02, complete with a new livery, as it bids to home in on an already-tight midfield battle. Although there were few outright new parts displayed on the launch render, there might be a few clues into further changes down the line…

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021