When Bottas had his porridge and drubbed Hamilton

As had almost become tradition, Lewis Hamilton took pole position in Melbourne for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in 2019.

It was his sixth straight pole at Albert Park but he would finish second in the race, as he had done so in the previous three seasons, since his 2015 win.

But this second-place finish to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was unlike any of the other results – he had fluffed his start in 2016 and was beaten fair and square on strategy by Sebastian Vettel in the previous two years.

This was a good old-fashioned drubbing by the Finn, simply out-performing Hamilton to launch Bottas 2.0 – all powered by porridge.

‘To whom it may concern…’

2018 had morphed into a difficult year for Bottas with personal problems being compounded by him being labelled as “Hamilton’s wingman” by team principal Toto Wolff.

He did not take that well and finished the season looking like he would rather be anywhere than sitting in a Formula 1 car, but he came back, beard in tow, for 2019 and silenced his doubters.

At lights out, he eased past Hamilton – and that was pretty much that. The Briton was carrying some floor damage from an early kerb strike, but that was not enough to discredit Bottas’s drive, only missing a lights-to-flag win during two laps not in the lead because of the pit-stop cycle.

He won by 20.8s for his biggest winning margin in F1 and memorably said over the radio on the in-lap “to whom it may concern, f**k you!” after some had voiced doubt in his abilities over the winter.

On the podium, Mark Webber simply asked Bottas what he had had for breakfast – the answer? “Porridge.”

Predictably, social media jumped on the answer was Bottas being labelled ‘the porridge master’ and a Twitter account dedicated to asking whether he had his daily fix before every race.

He seemingly had his helping again in Azerbaijan to win his second race from four to start the year, but ultimately, he could not keep pace with Hamilton who won six of the next eight races to put the title out of Bottas’s reach.

But Bottas made history in Melbourne – becoming the first driver to secure a fastest lap point since Maurice Trintignant at the 1959 United States Grand Prix.


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