F1: Hamilton and Bottas take the W12 Mercedes around Bahrain
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Mercedes can no longer rely on Valtteri Bottas as the Formula 1 title race heats up, according to former F1 driver Timo Glock. The Silver Arrows currently lead Red Bull by 23 points in the constructors’ standings.
However, the Milton Keynes-based team have the advantage in the Drivers’ Championship as Dutch star Max Verstappen leads seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton by just 12 points with five races to go.
In the last few races, Bottas has been handed engine penalties but he has struggled to make up ground to impact the titanic battle between Verstappen and teammate Hamilton.
Glock, who raced for Jordan, Toyota, Virgin and Marussia across his Formula 1 career, believes Sergio Perez has outperformed the Finn in the supporting role – despite the fact that the Finn has more points than the Mexican.
The German is adamant that Bottas has not had the pace in critical moments, and it means Mercedes can no longer rely on him to support Hamilton in the championship finale.
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“I think Red Bull Racing is in a better position when it comes to the team-mates of the title contenders,” Glock told Speedweek.
“Mercedes decided early on to replace Valtteri Bottas with George Russell next season. That was clear, but now Mercedes can no longer rely completely on Bottas.
“You can see that in the way the Finn behaves in certain situations – such as in Russia, where the fastest race lap was at stake.
“In contrast, Red Bull Racing can very well rely on Perez. The Mexican will provide Max with support.
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“Here, too, the future is at stake and Sergio, who is confirmed for 2022, will do everything he can to support his team in the best possible way.”
Perez has come into form recently, claiming consecutive podiums at the Turkish Grand Prix and at Austin, Texas last time out.
The 31-year-old has received praise for his improved form as he heads into his home race in Mexico, with team boss Christian Horner hoping he can continue to claim podiums in the final few races of the 2021 campaign.
F1’s managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, agreed with the sentiment of Glock as he praised Perez’s role in the race in his post-United States Grand Prix column.
Brawn believes Red Bull will be pleased with Perez’s progress, as well as their decision to retain him for 2022.
“It is good to see him putting in more consistent performances,” Brawn wrote.
“Perez played his part on Sunday, backing up his team-mate’s win with a superb podium. If he does that every weekend, Red Bull will be delighted.”
Formula 1 returns to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the Mexican Grand Prix on November 7, with Red Bull star Verstappen holding a slender 12-point lead over Mercedes’ Hamilton.
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