(Motorsport-Total.com) – “Do you think someone believes that you are here to win?” This “fan mail” reached Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas on social networks. And he countered immediately. Bottas wrote: “I don’t care what you believe. If I thought like you, then I would never have had a chance in my career, never! And I’m not giving up!”
© Motorsport Images
It is situations like this that fueled Bottas’ emotional outburst after crossing the finish line. Because no sooner had he waved his hand off, Bottas shouted into the radio again: “To those concerned: lick my ass!”
Later in the press conference, Bottas stated very dryly: “That had to go. Frustration had built up.” He is tired of doing his best week after week on the racetrack, but only – in his eyes – receiving completely unfounded criticism.
Bottas: “Glück” was there too!
The second win of the season in 2020, with the ideal number of 26 points, gave him the opportunity to let off steam in public. “Now it was going well for me,” said Bottas, who had been flagged as the clear winner after 53 laps in Sochi.
Two time penalties against his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who had initially led, paved the way for him. “Of course there was a bit of luck,” says Bottas. “But I like to take that with me because I think I deserve it.”
He hopes the Russian Grand Prix will prove to be the initial spark for the rest of the season. In any case, he wants to take “positive momentum” into the next races.
Shortened deficit on Hamilton
Because: “It was a strong race with good pace on my part. I had everything under control. You need results like this in order to gain confidence. That is why I am very satisfied with this victory. And it also means: the championship is not over yet.”
In fact, Bottas has slightly reduced the gap to World Cup leader Hamilton by at least eleven points. But Hamilton would still be comfortably ahead even if he failed.
But Bottas does not want to be put off by the current standings or by his critics. His basic attitude is no different: “I’m confident. Every time I go to a race weekend, then with the confidence that I can make it. And that’s how it will always be. You need this attitude.”
How Bottas deals with criticism
After his qualifying defeat against Hamilton, he said to himself that “there would be opportunities” in the race. And exactly such a possibility had also come about. “Today,” says Bottas, not without relief, “it was over for me once.”
“So I hope I can get people to never give up. Because that would be the biggest mistake in life.”
Instead, he learned to take “a lot of strength and energy” with him from any form of criticism. “Some tell me I shouldn’t give up, I should give up. But that’s not how I’m made. I will never give up. So I just wanted to send greetings to these people again.”
The said radio message slipped out of him “just like that”, says Bottas. Otherwise he doesn’t really think about those who just wanted to annoy him. “It’s not something that haunts me,” he says. “I just don’t know why they’re doing this. I hope these people learn.”