Jacques Villeneuve qualified Valtteri Bottas’ performance in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix as “embarrassing” and consistent with his status as Mercedes’ clear number two driver.
Bottas secured pole on Saturday with an impressive last gasp effort which edged out Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
While pundits weren’t expecting an easy Sunday drive for the Finn – the sole Mercedes driver at the front after Lewis Hamilton’s demise in Q1, many believed Bottas had a very strong chance of clinching his third win of the season.
He was outrun by Vettel from the outset however, and ultimately finished just seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton who had charged his way through the field with an outstanding drive after starting from the pitlane.
- F1i’s Driver Ratings for the Brazilian GP
“It was a great drive from Vettel, he won it at the start,” Villeneuve told Autosport.
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“He was aggressive. When you see what the Mercedes was capable of, you just have to look at Lewis and Bottas wasn’t up to pace. It’s embarrassing for Bottas.
“Lewis finished around three seconds behind him when he started from the pits.
“It’s embarrassing. He simply is not on the pace of Hamilton. It’s been like that all year. That’s his level. Which is a good number two.”
A disappointed Bottas conceded his defeat, believing however that there was little which separated himself from the day’s victor.
“I got pretty close after he came out from the pits but just not quite enough to try to overtake.
“So, yeah, definitely disappointed after a good day on Saturday, and obviously not so good for me on the battle we have for the second place of the championship.
“He’s got quite a good lead now so we need some miracles in Abu Dhabi.”
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