Ralf Schumacher saw no 'new Bottas' in Melbourne

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Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes that Valtteri Bottas only owed his dominant lights-to-flag win in Melbourne to the floor damage incurred by Lewis Hamilton's car.

Bottas put in a commanding performance in Australia to win his first race since Abu Dhabi in 2017, upstaging his reigning world champion team mate.

Despite the Finn's master-class performance, Schumacher doubts a new and improved Bottas has emerged over the winter.

"I would say that was just a good weekend for him – no more and no less," Schumacher said on his Starting Grid podcast.

"I would not interpret that much.

"He showed in qualifying that he is on the level of Hamilton, but in the end he was still a tenth away because he has just made the famous mistake – without [Hamilton’s damaged] underbody and the start it would have been be the usual picture I’m pretty sure.

"That’s why, yes, it’s good that he made it, but we do not have a new Bottas, which would be very surprising."

The six-time Grand Prix winner and brother of F1 legend Michael Schumacher sees Bottas' lack of consistency as a weakness he'll will need to correct if the Finn aspires to topple Hamilton.

"Bottas definitely needs the momentum – no question about last year – and he’s a driver anyway who can be as quick as an arrow, but not so constant, and not so constant under pressure, added the 43-year-old German.

"He did not really have that kind of pressure that race because he could lead.

"Lewis’s strength is his consistency, his ability to race at the right time. I want him [Bottas] to do it, but I would be very surprised if he had learned that over the winter.

"It’s also a character thing after all, but he still drove a strong race, which makes me very happy for him."

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