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  1. #8311
    TJzone TJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MZ21 View Post
    Rbr never set any top speed records during 2010-2013. They pretty had the slowest straight line speed of the tops three teams.
    Quote Originally Posted by foamy View Post
    Could be more to do with aero, doesn't Williams have the highest top speed on the straights currently?
    Williams or Force India usually.

    And it was well known during that time that their off throttle maps were giving massive aero gains with the double diffusers etc. They also were awesome on fuel so they could run the cars lighter than others. That is why they rarely needed top speed to overcome issues.
    #teamtremolo
    Quote Originally Posted by brasher
    TJ is 99% African American.

  2. #8312
    Pollitically incorrect
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    double/blown diffuses (sp) threw some funny codes.

    I recall how on that one race they banned the blown aero, the results were all over the shop. Webs smashed vet for example.
    .... because every driver experiences the destructive potential of the effortless surge of power available through the smallest of body movements.

    Dr Hoon
    .

    DrNick is king!!!! No, Mark Webber is now! Long live the king!... hold on a minute mate, Ricci is in charge now

  3. #8313
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    Autosport plus on bottas

    How Mercedes' lottery winner is targeting F1's jackpot
    As calm out of the cockpit as he is within it, this man is a true product of his Finnish hometown - as Anthony Peacock learned on a visit to Nastola for the Valtteri Bottas Duathlon

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    This article first appeared in F1 Racing magazine - the world's best selling F1 magazine.
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    There's a long main road stretching far into the distance, so similar to many others in Finland - dead straight, with just the occasional logging truck to overtake - lined by the ubiquitous pine trees, brooding lakes and little red log cabins: a Sibelius symphony framed within an archetypal landscape. The sun is setting and there's not a soul to be seen: during the Finnish summer, 8pm is appointed sauna time. Everything stops in a haze of steam and quiet contemplation.

    But turn off the main road and approach the seemingly deserted town of Nastola (population: 14,000) and a few incongruous aspects will grab your attention. First, a goth-like man with a ponytail driving a beaten-up Lada that's at least 10 years older than he is. With the amount of smoke it's producing, he doesn't need to go home for a sauna.

    Finland is of course renowned as the spiritual home of heavy metal, counting Impaled Nazarene, Apocalyptica and Children of Bodom among its most famous exports. And this maestro of the moshpit proves that we've now penetrated the true hinterland of Finland: the very essence of this fabled country of lakes, vodka, pine and sisu. The places that most casual visitors don't see.

    That's surprising enough, but the next sight that rolls into view is the Pujalahti Olympic Training Centre: a rambling complex of buildings, running tracks and stadiums in the middle of... well, nowhere. It's also the headquarters of the first-ever Valtteri Bottas Duathlon, because Nastola is Valtteri's hometown: the place that defined the childhood and then adulthood of the Mercedes star.

    You don't have to spend much time here to understand why. In the same way that some people resemble their dogs, Valtteri is a true product of Nastola. It's a pragmatic, friendly and unpretentious place, in the shadow of Lahti, the bigger city next door, of which, since last year, it's now officially part.

    Yet there's still an intriguing individual quirkiness to the town, exemplified by the Lada-driving metal fan, as well as the remarkably high number of kebab shops, not to mention the town's hosting of the European Goalball Championships: a competition for blind athletes, which involves a ball with bells inside it.

    Nastola exudes calm and tranquility, in part thanks to its lake, whose lapping waters and stunning sunsets define the gentle rhythm of life here. Valtteri still keeps a summer house by the lake near his hometown, like so many other Finns. In fact, he still keeps much of his whole life there - one of the reasons why it's hard to find a more grounded Formula 1 driver.

    "When I miss Finland, this is the place I miss the most," he points out, indicating a seemingly endless expanse of lake and forest. "All my friends were here and most of them still are. And my family still lives round here too."



    With no family background in motorsport and a modest upbringing, it's "a bit crazy" that he could feasibly end the year as Formula 1 world champion, a scenario that would have been unthinkable even a year ago. But Valtteri has adapted himself to the situation with the implacable calm that comes with his nationality.

    If you thought that the first part of his season was impressive - a podium in his first race with Mercedes, pole position in his third, a win in his fourth - the second part of the season will only get better, according to the man himself. It's logical enough, if you look at the tightening angle of his learning curve.

    "The first half was with a totally new team for me: so many things to learn, new people to know, new car to understand," he recalls. "Now I've got my first win and first pole, I know I can do it. I just want more."

    "We agreed together before the season started that we were not going to play any games"
    Bottas on his relationship with Lewis Hamilton
    Although taking Nico Rosberg's place at Mercedes was Formula 1's winning lottery ticket, it's easy to underestimate the difficulty that Bottas faced when stepping into the reigning world champion's race boots. After all, he didn't even know he was going there until shortly before he rocked up at Brackley to have his seat fitting: another surreal chapter in the otherwise remarkably normal life of Valtteri Bottas. He had, you'll recall, been announced as a Williams driver for 2017, alongside Lance Stroll, with Felipe Massa set to retire. That was before Rosberg's bombshell announcement.

    At Mercedes, he found that everything was cranked up a notch: the knife-edge performance of the car - described as a "bit of a diva" even by team boss Toto Wolff - the professionalism and resources of the team itself and, of course, the relentless media attention. It takes a lot of sisu [a Finnish character trait that roughly translates as 'dauntless stoicism'] to soak up that pressure.

    "Obviously, like with Williams, if you've had many years of struggles, it's difficult to keep up the mentality and the winning spirit," he says. "But when you go to Mercedes, nothing is satisfactory apart from winning. For me, that was the biggest thing."

    Then there's the pressure of having a multiple world champion team-mate who is not only the biggest personality in the sport, but who also has a reputation for developing fractious relationships with some of his colleagues. That's not been Bottas's own experience, although it's fair to say that they don't spend all their spare time hanging out together. In fact, it's hard to envisage two team-mates with such diametrically opposed personalities, which may, of course, be the key to their successful working relationship. In any case, Valtteri's not one to judge. He sees the person and not the perception.

    "Lewis is a normal human being as we all are," says Bottas. "He's massively talented and quick, so he's definitely a good team-mate for me. From the very beginning there's always been good respect; he's a nice guy. We agreed together before the season started that we were not going to play any games. I was definitely up for that."



    And while the race that Bottas will remember most from 2017 was Russia, where he took his first win ("that was a really big deal for me"), perhaps the most significant grand prix was one that he didn't win: Hungary.

    There, of course, Bottas let Hamilton past to attack Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen, on the premise that Hamilton would hand back the podium spot if he failed to get past. Although it was a risky manoeuvre and he gave away three points in the championship, Hamilton honoured the deal on the final corner of the final lap.

    It was an act of sportsmanship that underlined the genuinely equal opportunity that Bottas has been given to fight for the title this year, and blew away the view, which some people still unfairly hold, that Bottas was drafted in as a non-controversial support act for Hamilton. But even Bottas didn't quite expect the instant karma in Budapest. Not many people did.

    "It was unfortunate that there became a bigger gap between myself and Lewis than I wanted after I let him past," Bottas points out. "I was struggling with the pace and with backmarkers: I was losing a bit more time than Lewis.

    "Given that Verstappen was so close behind me, I wasn't 100 per cent sure if Lewis was going to give it back or not. But he did as he'd promised, which I really respect. I told him after the race that not every team-mate would do that."

    "I always like to be more in the background and talk less"
    Even Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has been surprised by how smoothly the relationship has developed. "Where Valtteri has exceeded our expectations - and both of them have, actually - is in how they work together," says Wolff. "They get on with each other and respect each other, on track and even more off track. The personal relationship between Valtteri and Lewis is totally different to what it was between Nico and Lewis."

    Will that remain the case as the championship screw turns tighter? Many have smugly pointed out that Hungary could prove to be a move Hamilton comes to regret if he loses the title by fewer than three points. But what if it ends up being Bottas who wins the title by less than three points, perhaps even from Sebastian Vettel, if Hamilton has a poor finish to the season?

    It's a scenario that few people have considered, but Valtteri prefers it that way. "I don't mind at all that Lewis and Seb are getting more attention, I always like to be more in the background anyway and talk less," he insists.

    In one sentence, Bottas summarises what he's all about. It was 10 years ago now that another Finn, Kimi Raikkonen, who is less verbal even than Valtteri, won the world championship, pretty much without anyone expecting it. He entered the final race of 2007 in Brazil lying third in the title standings, before his rivals began to self-destruct. He's still Finland's - and Ferrari's - most recent world champion.

    And just over 20 years before that, Alain Prost won the 1986 championship at the last race, having been the driver that nobody saw coming, with all the attention focused on the Williams-Honda, which was far quicker than anything else.

    "You know, I don't think about those things too much," reflects Bottas. "There's no big plan: I just want to win as many races as possible. Of course, if it does come to the last race, I would much rather be leading the championship than staying in third. So, no special tactics of coming from the back or anything like that."



    It's an invigoratingly uncomplicated approach to the business of racing, which, of course, is another neat reflection of Bottas himself. He's not one to surround himself with glamorous associates: there are no celebrity pals; one of his key sponsors is a company that makes cranes; and probably the best-known product that bears his name is a burger from a tiny roadside cafe.

    The Lahdekioski (essentially an overgrown kiosk, as the name suggests) sits on the outskirts of Nastola, catering mainly for students and truck drivers. It used to sponsor Valtteri back in the early days. He hasn't forgotten, and is proud to endorse the Bottas burger, an artery-hardening concoction that would make any Formula 1 trainer recoil: it features a beef patty, melted cheese, fried onions and plenty of burger sauce. Just look for the hand-written sign at the top of the menu stuck to the wall, which advertises the Lahdekioski's most famous product. Along with "Valtteri's paddock lunch" - constituents unknown.

    To be fair, he doesn't indulge in a Bottas burger very often these days, but Bottas does drop in to visit the place from time to time, occasionally adding to the collection of memorabilia that's spreading its way across the walls. Think of this as Nastola's answer to the Cavallino restaurant in Maranello.

    By now you'll have worked out that the fact he doesn't talk much about the world title is no reflection on his inner self-belief. "Abu Dhabi is still many races away and I definitely feel that I'm in the title fight," he announces. "I'm also definitely expecting a better second half to the season from my side than the first one.

    "I'm going to fight for the championship and give it everything I've got, because now there is the opportunity, which, for me, is the first time. So, I'm going to go for it."

    Growing up in this small town, watching Mika Hakkinen on TV in the 1990s with his dad before they trekked off to the local kart circuit, has taught Bottas one very important lesson. "Follow your dreams," he concludes. "In the end, no dream is too big."



    Bottas's newest challenge: his very own charity duathlon

    Let's set the record straight about one thing. Valtteri Bottas decided to host a duathlon (with running and cycling) rather than a triathlon, in his home town, only because it was easier to get more people to enter - it definitely wasn't because he was scared of being beaten by his wife, Olympic swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen.

    "No, no, that's not the reason at all!" he says, laughing. "In any case, there's no secret: I know I would have lost by miles!"

    The challenge is a formidable one, involving a 5km run, followed by 20km of mountain biking, and finally another 3km run - this final stretch along an up-and-down course through the forests close to the Olympic Training Centre. The main event was preceded by a family duathlon, with the length cut down to just 8km.

    "I've been planning on doing an event like this for quite a while now because I love doing sports myself," explains Valtteri. "So, I want to hold this event every year and make it bigger so that everyone can join in: it's such a fantastic thing and it's very healthy, obviously."

    In the end, Valtteri finished 11th with a time of 1hr25m, the top places being filled by professional athletes, including the winner - Markus Vuorela. Valtteri's race engineer Tony Ross also competed, finishing 31st, as well as a few other members of the Mercedes team.

    The event has a charitable focus, with the Valtteri Bottas Duathlon donating €10,000 to the Starlight Foundation, which grants the wishes of seriously ill children.
    #teamtremolo
    Quote Originally Posted by brasher
    TJ is 99% African American.

  4. #8314
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    If in doubt power out

  5. #8315
    TJzone TJ's Avatar
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    el oh el
    #teamtremolo
    Quote Originally Posted by brasher
    TJ is 99% African American.

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