Second drivers more important than ever: 'Both play a big role'

12-10-2021 09:33 | Updated: 12-10-2021 11:03
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Second drivers more important than ever: 'Both play a big role'

The Turkish Grand Prix didn't just focus on the title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, as both teams' second placed drivers certainly showed their worth. Marc Priestley reports in the F1 Live video about this GP that he thinks that both Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Pérez showed their best side.

Anything can happen in the last six races of the Formula 1 season. Verstappen now leads the championship again by six points after his podium finish at the Turkish GP, but there will certainly be some circuits on the calendar where Mercedes have a better chance according to Priestley.

"We got Mexico, which you would say is a Red Bull dominated circuit, but Hamilton or Mercedes certainly have a very strong chance at all the other race tracks. That’s not to say that Red Bull will be nowhere because they will put up a very good fight and anything can happen, but I think it feels like it’s just starting to sway just a tiny bit, and I’m talking tiny amounts," the Brit said.

The second drivers played the leading role

During the Turkish GP, Bottas and Pérez played a major role. Bottas managed to prevent Verstappen from having pole position and also won the race with the fastest time. Meanwhile, the Mexican had a great duel with the seven-time world champion during the race, after which he also managed to keep him behind. As a result, Pérez finished on the podium, but Hamilton did not. In such a title fight as we are seeing this year, that is super important.

"There will be occasions where Bottas might prove to be the stronger wingman than Perez. Perez is great on certain days, but not on others. Let’s face it: both of the number two drivers played their part this weekend. The second drivers in each of those teams could still play a massive role in how this season plays out," Priestley said.

Bottas will be able to help

In addition, the fact that Bottas already has a contract for next year certainly plays a role. The Finn doesn't have to prove himself and can therefore give Mercedes all the help they need.

"He can leave Mercedes on a high by doing his bit to help them secure a championship and I believe he will and the team will definitely use him for that role if they need to."

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