Lewis Hamilton virtually drove former teammate Valtteri Bottas to the brink of retiring from F1 throughout their time collectively at Mercedes, the Finn has confessed.
Bottas, now at Alfa Romeo, joined Mercedes after they wanted to fill the void left by Nico Rosberg’s retirement days after successful his maiden world championship in 2016.
Between 2017 and 2021, the 32-year-old was unable to get the higher of Lewis Hamilton, regardless of being in what was arguably probably the most dominant automobile on the F1 grid. This was made most evident by the stats of the pair.
The Briton received 4 titles, with 50 wins, 42 pole positions, and 78 podiums throughout these aforemention 5 seasons. In distinction, Bottas had 10 wins, 20 poles, and 58 podiums. Hamilton additionally outscored the Finn by almost 600 factors throughout that interval.
Having now assumed the position of group chief at Alfa Romeo versus taking part in second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton on the Silver Arrows, Bottas mirrored on how he got here near quitting attributable to Lewis Hamilton’s dominance.
Throughout a dialog on the Motor Sport Journal Podcast, Bottas mentioned:
“On the finish of 2018, I virtually stopped, it was so shut. Simply due to the truth that I couldn’t perceive and take the truth that I couldn’t beat Lewis [Hamilton] in these two years. I put a lot strain on myself. In the direction of the tip of ’18, particularly after I began to have the assist position within the group, I actually couldn’t take it, I actually struggled. It was not enjoyable.”
Bottas then went on to disclose how he bought over the frustration of his first two seasons with Mercedes, including:
“The human thoughts is unusual in a method that typically you go into darkish locations. You lose the enjoyment in issues and I simply fully misplaced the enjoyment of F1 and racing in F1. I used to be virtually offended at F1. It’s bizarre, however I simply wanted a while off, and consider the massive image after which I realised that ‘OK, it’s truly a fairly cool sport and I nonetheless have nice alternatives forward of me’. So I’d be foolish to not take them.”
Valtteri Bottas feels a South-American break helped him return stronger for 2019 battle in opposition to Lewis Hamilton
Valtteri Bottas admitted to taking a step again and happening a break to South America to recharge himself for 2019, in what he calls his strongest marketing campaign in opposition to Lewis Hamilton.
On the Motor Sport Journal Podcast, the Finnish driver mentioned:
“I made a decision to go on a break in South America someplace and simply strive not to consider F1 in any respect, and simply attempt to discover the need and the enjoyment for the game and the motivation. I discovered it, it was like a click on. In all probability [in] mid-January, I made a decision ‘OK, let’s do that. I can nonetheless do it’. So I managed to get myself collectively and I discovered the enjoyment of driving once more. Instantly, the outcomes had been significantly better than in ’18.”
The Finn began the 2019 season with a win in Melbourne and 6 consecutive podium locations proper by to Monte Carlo. In the end although, he ran out of steam whereas Hamilton maintained the cost. Bottas added:
“2019 was in all probability my greatest season to this point, particularly in opposition to Lewis. I received fairly just a few races, and particularly till midway by the season, I used to be typically even main the championship, so it was a fairly, fairly robust yr, however then simply Lewis’ consistency and performances general, for the entire season, I couldn’t match.”
Heading into the 2022 F1 British GP, Valtteri Bottas is eighth within the World Drivers’ Championship standings, having picked up 46 out of the 51 factors scored by Alfa Romeo this season.