Lauda: 'We must make the car easier for Bottas'

Valtteri Bottas
© XPB 

Mercedes F1 chairman Niki Lauda says the pressure is on Mercedes to make its W08 charger easier for Valtteri Bottas to drive.

In his maiden year with the German team, the Finn ramped up his performance and achieved his first win in Russia before repeating the feat in Austria.

But his performance gradually slumped thereafter while team mate Lewis Hamilton's form continued to ascend as he took the reins of the world championship battle.

"It’s difficult for him, because the car is very difficult to drive," Lauda said.

"Lewis can handle it better, and Valtteri has difficulties. If you give him an easy car to drive, and the way he likes the car, then he will be right there again."

Indeed, Mercedes W08, which Toto Wolff labeled a 'diva car', has proven to be a temperamental beast to master, especially on low-downforce tracks or in a high temperature environment when drivers struggle with the car's propensity to offer a very narrow window in terms of tyre exploitation.

"It’s against his driving style the way our car, at the moment performs - even Lewis sometimes complains about how difficult it is to drive. Nevertheless, he can still win, thank God.

"The pressure is on us to make it easier."

Lauda admitted however that most drivers were likely struggle to perform alongside Lewis Hamilton on a relative basis.

"He’s the best, very simple," Lauda said.

"He’s always been good, and now it’s even better. I think he’s the quickest guy anyway today. If you compare him with all the others, he’s one, two tenths quicker than everybody else."

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