Bottas battle shows Hamilton's class despite clear Mercedes advantage, says Stroll

By Sports Desk May 20, 2021

Lance Stroll acknowledged Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has proven his talent in tussles with team-mate Valtteri Bottas, even if his Mercedes gives him an advantage over the rest of the grid.

Hamilton has won a record-equalling seven drivers' championships, including six of the past seven with Mercedes.

Former team-mate Nico Rosberg won the title in 2016 when Hamilton faltered, meaning the Silver Arrows have accounted for seven straight triumphs, matching that streak in the constructors' championship.

Mercedes' advantage with a consistently excellent car is clear, as Stroll highlighted this season when he said: "If you put Lewis Hamilton in a McLaren, he won't win the race."

However, speaking to Stats Perform, the Aston Martin driver explained there is still no doubting Hamilton's ability.

Besides Rosberg's five-point 2016 triumph, the Briton has beaten his Mercedes team-mate in every season since he joined the team in 2013.

"You still have to beat your team-mate," Stroll told Stats Perform. "For example, in Mercedes, Lewis has Valtteri and he managed to win the title for so many years.

"You've still got to deliver every weekend and fight up in the front. He has been able to do that.

"But there is no doubt that having a good car makes the difference in the way you finish. This is the story of F1, that's how it has been for a long time and it still is."

Aston Martin, backed by Stroll's father Lawrence, earned only five points in the first four races in 2021 – none of them supplied by new signing Sebastian Vettel – following changes to car regulations that Hamilton has suggested were "done to peg [Mercedes] back".

Stroll, whose low-rake car uses a Mercedes power unit, said: "Last year, at the beginning, we were more competitive, but now, with new regulations, things are a bit different."

He does, however, enjoy being paired with four-time champion Vettel, adding: "It is great working with Seb.

"He is an incredible talent with great experience. He is a great team-mate I and look forward to working with him for the rest of the season."

Related items

  • FIA boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem investigated over alleged interference in F1 race FIA boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem investigated over alleged interference in F1 race

    FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is reportedly under investigation for allegedly interfering with the result of a Formula One race.

    According to the BBC, a report by motorsport governing body’s compliance officer Paolo Basarri to the ethics committee says Ben Sulayem acted to overturn a penalty given to Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

    The PA news agency has contacted the FIA, but it is understood that because matters like this rest with the ethics committee, an independent body, the FIA is unlikely to offer any comment while any due process runs its course.

    The BBC report claims a whistleblower alleged Ben Sulayem called Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa – FIA vice-president for sport for the Middle East and North Africa region, who was in Saudi Arabia for the race in an official capacity – and made it clear he thought Alonso’s penalty should be revoked.

    The removal of Alonso’s 10-second penalty, imposed for work done on his car while he was serving a previous five-second penalty, returned him to the podium behind Red Bull duo Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, after the sanction had dropped him to fourth.

    At the time there was no suggestion there was anything untoward with the decision after Aston Martin’s sporting director Andy Stevenson had put the team’s case to stewards in a right of review.

  • Christian Horner meets with Max Verstappen’s manager in bid to defuse tensions Christian Horner meets with Max Verstappen’s manager in bid to defuse tensions

    Christian Horner staged a face-to-face meeting with Max Verstappen’s representative in Dubai on Monday in a bid to iron out escalating tensions at Red Bull.

    The summit was held 48 hours after Verstappen’s father, Jos, said Red Bull would “explode” if Horner remained in his role as team principal.

    The PA news agency understands that neither Jos or his son, Max, were present, with Verstappen’s manager Raymond Vermeulen acting on the Dutch driver’s behalf.

    A source told PA the talks “went well”. Senior Red Bull figures were also said to be present. The next grand prix takes place in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

    Verstappen’s victory at the opening round of the season last weekend in Bahrain was overshadowed by continued controversy surrounding Horner.

    Following the race Horner said he was “absolutely confident” he would stay on as Red Bull boss for the remainder of the season after overseeing Verstappen lead a one-two finish from team-mate Sergio Perez.

    Horner has faced intense scrutiny in recent weeks following allegations made against him by a female colleague. Horner has always denied the claims.

    But, speaking to the Daily Mail, Verstappen Snr added further fuel to the fire when he said: “There is tension here while he (Horner) remains in position.

    “The team is in danger of being torn apart. It can’t go on the way it is. It will explode. He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

    Responding to Verstappen Snr’s comments, a Red Bull Racing spokesperson said: “There are no issues here. The team are united and we are focused on racing.”

  • Fraser McConnell secures second-place finish in 2023/24 Nitrocross Championship Fraser McConnell secures second-place finish in 2023/24 Nitrocross Championship

    Jamaica’s Motorsport Athlete of the Year, Fraser McConnell, secured the second spot on the podium for the 2023/24 Nitrocross season, while Robin Larsson clinched his second consecutive title.

    McConnell's stellar track record continues as he finished one position higher than his third-place finish in 2022/23.

    During the 2023/24 season, the Jamaican driver demonstrated remarkable skill and determination by securing a decisive victory in Oklahoma on June 16, marking an impressive start.

    Mechanical issues hindered his performance, possibly preventing him from reaching the podium in rounds two and three in Utah in August. However, McConnell bounced back strongly in rounds five and six in Phoenix, Arizona, finishing first and second on November 10 and 11.

    McConnell is gearing up for another thrilling season of sprint racing in 2024/25 as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing confirms the extension of his contract for another year,

    "We are thrilled to announce Fraser McConnell's continued partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the upcoming NitroCross season," said team owner, Dennis Reinbold. "Fraser's exceptional talent and dedication to excellence embody the spirit of our team, and we are confident that together, we will achieve even greater heights in the 2024-25 season."

    McConnell also looks forward to a third season with the team, “I’m happy to continue this opportunity with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. The team has felt like family over the last two years and it’s a huge honour to continue with the best team in the paddock."

    On his 2023/24 results, he added,

    “It is so incredible to finish on the podium once again, last year third, this year second, next year I’m coming for that trophy!”

    “We definitely have what it takes to win the championship. We finished strong here in Las Vegas and next season will be no different.” he added.

    The fourth season of Nitrocross gets underway on September 7 & 8 with Rounds one & two slated for a new venue, Richmond Raceway, in Virginia.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.