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Bottas insists relationship with Mercedes isn't broken

NEWS STORY
24/06/2021

As speculation over his relationship with Mercedes intensifies, Valtteri Bottas insists that it isn't broken.

For many, Valtteri Bottas' weary outburst during last weekend's French Grand Prix represented a clear sign of the Finn's growing frustration with the German team.

"Why the f*** does no one listen to me when I say it's going to be a two-stopper?" he stormed. "F****** hell!"

The Finn was referring to the fact that the team's decision to stick with its one-stop strategy had cost him any hope of a podium finish, far less a win, and followed the decision to pit him before Lewis Hamilton, even though it traditionally pits its leading driver first.

The outburst was the clearest sign yet of the Finn's frustration, and follows the incident in Monaco when a stuck wheel nut cost him an almost certain podium.

Asked if his relationship with the team is breaking down, Bottas replied: "That perception is completely false... we have a good relationship with the team.

"There's no issues and that kind of situations are normal," he continued. "I'm sure not all the things that are said are being broadcasted.

"What has brought us, as a team, this far is that we are always being direct, always being honest with your feelings, if you feel there's room for improvement, so it's nothing new and everything is good."

Asked specifically about his radio outburst, which is understood to have been given the thumbs-up by Toto Wolff, Bottas said: "I always try to be direct and I'm glad he liked it but I was not that happy, obviously, in that situation.

"That's racing, there's emotions" he continued. "It's hard to describe that feeling when you are in the car, and we are not in a tea party, we are in an elite top sport. I want to do well, I want the team to do well, so there is emotions, even for a Finn."

Asked if he was happier with the team's explanation as to why it left him on a one-stop strategy, he said: "Happier is not maybe the right word, but I understand more and more things.

"Obviously when you're in the car, you have a bit limited view of the race situation, so it was important to go through everything as well as I always do.

"So, I do understand the situation better but still, the fact is, in this situation I was in with my tyres at that point, it was sub-optimal, but we can't go back in time, and we always keep learning."

In terms of a new contract, the Finn, who has signed a series of one-year deals with the Brackley-based outfit admitted that speculation over his future is nothing new.

"It's not a new situation for me," he said, "every year I've been in the same situation, waiting for my future to be clear for the next year.

"Everyone knows how this sport works," he continued, "if you make results, you earn your place where you deserve to be and if you don't make results, if the team feels it needs to make a driver change then they'll change the driver.

"It's very simple in this sport and, again, I'll go back to saying there are still 16 races to go. The team knows what I'm capable of, how valuable I've been in the recent years in getting the championship.

"It's not yet time for those discussions. We're in the middle of a triple header, with still two races to go in the next two weeks, but I'm sure in the off weeks there will be time to discuss, when it's going to be the time. That's the situation I'm in and that's the situation I need to try and maximise."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Kkiirmki, 25/06/2021 22:28

"Mercedes may not have a choice but to put Russell in the second car as soon as possible. Over the last couple of years Red Bull have been happy to have the star driver (Verstappen) and the "wingman" combination, similar to Mercedes. However, since Perez has joined the team, is now over his early season issues, he's doing what these past drivers for Red Bull haven't managed to do, bring home: wins, podiums and consistent high point finishes. If Perez stays with Red Bull for next season, and if Mercedes wants to win the WCC, which they may not do this year, they need someone like Russell in the second car"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 25/06/2021 0:39

"@ Endre.....There is no way that Wolff would oversee a Hamilton dismissal, especially when they are on the cusp of such a massive performance history! If Russell doesn't get a drive where is he he going to go? There are no seats available anywhere ATM that would suit his intentions. Wolff still has the upper hand in this situation and he will play it to best suit his ego, economic desires, and the MB team overall. "

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3. Posted by Endre, 24/06/2021 15:17

"Bottom line is that Mercedes can not afford to lose George, he is the future for many years to come. His contract expires at year end and he obviously doesn't want to stay at Williams any longer, he wasted enough time already. If Mercedes doesn't sign him for next year and someone else makes him an offer they will regret it. If I was Toto, I wouldn't hesitate to fire both Hamilton and Bottas if I needed to in order to get George."

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4. Posted by kenji, 24/06/2021 14:58

"Bottas is saying all the things he thinks he needs to say to try and hold on to his drive and Hamilton is saying all the right things he thinks he should, to keep the 'wingman' in his place. It is far too obvious and they think that the public are dummies. Hamilton, no matter what he says, is scared of facing a competitive driver in the other seat. Proof of that was his effort to come back from illness in order to keep Russell from a second drive. I have no sympathy for Bottas as he seems to be a be a nice guy, but he says that he will drive for himself and then he doesn't do it and reverts to his 'wingman' status. "

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