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24th of November 2017


Jacques Villeneuve says Valtteri Bottas' effort at F1 Brazilian GP was 'embarrassing'

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Past F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve calls Valtteri Bottas’ performance "embarrassing" after the Mercedes driver was unable to turn a pole position into victory at the Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix.

When 2017 world champion and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed out of qualifying, the door was left wide open for Bottas to win the pole and, on Sunday, claim a third victory of the season.

However, Bottas lost the lead to Sebastian Vettel at turn 1 and finished just 2.7 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who had started from the pit lane after crashing in qualifying.

Speaking with media outlet Autosport after the race, Villeneuve said, “When you see what the Mercedes was capable of, and Bottas wasn’t up to pace. It's embarrassing for Bottas.

“Lewis finished around three seconds behind him when he started from the pits. It's embarrassing. (Bottas) simply is not on the pace of Hamilton. It's been like that all year. That’s his level. Which is a good No. 2.”

Bottas is now all but certain to finish in third place in the championship -- currently trailing Vettel by 22 points but 80 points clear of Daniel Ricciardo in fourth with one race remaining.

Although he has been retained by Mercedes for the 2018 season, Bottas' one-year extension does leave the door open for Ricciardo, currently with Red Bull, to steal his seat in 2019.

By Sam Hall

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