After 5 years with Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas has mixed emotions about his time with the team.
Bottas has won 10 Grands Prix, scored 20 pole positions and helped Mercedes win 5 consecutive assistor titles.
The problem for Bottas was that he was Lewis Hamilton’s teammate and failed to realize the drivers’ dream of winning the championship.
“Yes, I definitely feel, in a way, that it was a failure,” Bottas said in an interview. “But looking back, I tried everything I could.
“If I could go back in time, if I could relive those moments, I would still do my best, like I did.”
Positive thinking, Bottas, who joined the Alfa Romeo team next season, said, “That’s going to be important going on, when thinking about the creators’ title we’ve won together, the score is huge.
“We were very good teammates, I won some wins, had a lot of chances, so I need to carry those good things with me so that when I look back, I think, yeah , I have achieved something, maybe not a big deal. I told myself I would win when I was 6, but still something. “
Hamilton said Bottas “was the best teammate ever in the sport.”
In a social media post from Hamilton when Bottas’ departure was confirmed Hamilton said: “Your speed and resilience is impressive, but where you really stand out to me is who you are. . You are greater than you know, and I know there is a bright future ahead of you.”
During his five seasons with Hamilton, Bottas said that “generally” he was treated fairly by Mercedes.
“Definitely always at the beginning of the season until half way through,” said Bottas. “If there is a point gap, then naturally people on the team start to think that it is very likely that this driver will fight for the championship and not this person.
“Subconsciously, it can change some people’s behavior and their decision-making.”
At times, there were “very obvious cases” when he had to play a supporting role for Hamilton that affected his morale. In the 2018 Russian Grand Prix, for example, Bottas was leading the way when he was asked by Hamilton to win. He is said to have to make way for Hamilton at this year’s Spanish Grand Prix.
“I would say the first time that happened was probably in 2018, and it was really hard to accept,” Bottas said. “It is quite difficult.
“It’s not good for me mentally, the space I’m in in my soul. As time goes on, would you accept it if that’s the situation you’re in, falling behind? It makes it difficult.”
Bottas, from Finland, said he learned a lot about himself with Mercedes. He said he believes he joined Alfa Romeo as a stronger person.
“I learned how the sport is actually so much more spiritual,” says Bottas. “If you really compare, if it’s a physical sport or a mind sport, I feel it’s like a lot about the head.”
Bottas will need new mental strength when he joins Alfa Romeo. He leaves the championship team for a team that has only scored 21 points in the past two seasons, with the best result being eighth.
He hopes changes to the aerodynamic regulations for next season, aimed at narrowing the disparity between the 10 teams and leading to closer combat on the track, will propel Alfa Romeo forward. closer to the front.
“I asked myself, do I want this, or should I try something else?” Bottas said. “It’s also an option, but I have never seriously considered leaving Formula 1 because deep inside I still love Formula 1, the competition and many things about it.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/15/sports/valtteri-bottas-f1.html Valtteri Bottas moves on to new challenge in F1