Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he almost walked away from F1 after suffering Mercedes team orders in 2018.
At the Russian Grand Prix, the Finn, who had started from pole position, was second behind Max Verstappen on lap 26 when his team-mate Lewis Hamilton was asked to let through.
This was the notoriety of “Valtteri, James…” radio from Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles.
Hamilton went on to win the race with a 2.5sec from Bottas ahead of Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, with Verstappen in fifth place.
As a result of the 10 points he scored on Vettel, Hamilton extended his win over Germany in the World Drivers Championship to 50 and went on to capture his fifth title with 88 points.
In addition to that race, Bottas have a satisfying relationship with Sochi having won there in 2017 and 2020 and finished second in 2019.
“Sochi 2018, that was a very difficult race,” the 31-year-old said in the third series of Drive To Survive on Netflix and posted by Crash.net. “It’s hard to accept. I was very angry.
“I was honestly wondering ‘why should I do this? ‘I was thinking of quitting [F1], of giving. Just after the race, I said I would never do it again. “
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After the incident, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted that it was a “mental hurdle” for Bottas – even though the driver admitted that he understood why the call was being made. to do.
Wolff said: “After Sochi, in the evening, we had a debate. He [Bottas] said ‘I totally understand why you did it and where the team come from. If I were in your shoes, I would do the same. ”
In the program Drive To Survive, Bottas talked about how he wants to prove that he is not just a ‘number two’ driver.
“If your partner wins a team and you are in second place, you will feel you lose. I know I’ve been in second place but I want to make sure I’m not just number two, ”he said.
While Mercedes maintains that both of its drivers have equal standing, Bottas believes that teams have a hierarchy “unknowingly”.
“In the team, even if many don’t admit it, they may be unknowingly number one and number two,” he said.
“At times team members have had to ask themselves ‘are we giving Lewis and Valtteri the same treatment?’ ”
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