Mid-Season Review - Bottas vs. Massa

Massa Bottas Williams

Ahead of F1's return to action at Spa we're taking a look at how the drivers are faring against their team-mates. Next up, the youngster and the veteran at resurgent Williams.

Williams' renaissance has been a key story in 2014, with the Grove-based team challenging Mercedes more often than Ferrari and Red Bull.

The experience of Felipe Massa coupled with the raw talent of Valtteri Bottas has meant that for a brief time they were third in the Constructor's Championship, despite missing out on a few strong results due to unnecessary on-track incidents and dubious pitwall strategy calls. The early-season plethora of wet qualifying sessions also slightly nullified the strength of the FW36, but with Spa and Monza just around the corner victories could be on the horizon.

Felipe Massa - Highest start: 1st. Highest finish: 4th

Felipe has been projecting himself like a man reborn since throwing off the shackles of Ferrari, but at points this season he has been more immature than his years suggest. Whether it be that collision in Canada with Sergio Perez, or that roll after contact with Kevin Magnussen in Germany, his reactions have felt like they've come from a rookie rather than a driver with a decade of grand prix racing under his belt.

There have been problems from both himself and the team in maximising the true potential of the Williams-Mercedes combination, brought on by frustration from outside variables - namely other cars on opening laps. But if the focus comes over the next few races, and the luck heads in a more positive direction, there's no doubt Massa will be a contender for podiums.

Valtteri Bottas - Highest start: 2nd. Highest finish: 2nd

Has there ever been such a stark difference in rookie and sophomore years than what's happened for Valtteri Bottas? From grasping at the top ten in 2013 to being at the sharp end in 2014, the Finn's steely resolve has seen him pay back some of the faith Sir Frank Williams placed in him.

Whilst his driving hasn't always been top notch - brushing the wall in Melbourne cost him a broken wheel rim and a shot at the podium - consistency has been one of his strengths, only missing out on points when his Mercedes engine failed him in Monaco.

The string of podiums from Austria to Germany are the highlights so far, but the consistency is what the team was really hoping for. If you're looking for driver to name "one to watch" who doesn't have the surname Ricciardo, Bottas is your man.

VERDICT: Bottas' results, demeanour and sheer speed sees him edge team-mate Massa, who seems to be more focused on what people think than what they see.