Ex-McLaren F1 Driver Believes Mercedes Are ‘Attacking’ Bottas Mentally With Dubious Claims

Published 06/25/2021, 4:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas before the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


Valtteri Bottas is facing one of his most difficult challenges since joining Mercedes in 2017. With just 59 points from the first seven races, the Finn is far off his teammate Lewis Hamilton in the driver’s championship.

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In addition, it seems the Silver Arrows look set to replace the Finn with George Russell next season. With Bottas clearly struggling, former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya gave his views on Bottas’ mindset at Mercedes.

Montoya believes Mercedes are ‘attacking’ Valtteri Bottas

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In the past couple of seasons, Bottas has been the most realistic contender after Lewis Hamilton in the championship. While teams like Red Bull struggled with reliability, the Finn was in the only car capable of challenging the dominant Briton.

However, Max Verstappen is taking the fight to Hamilton this season in a more lethal manner than Bottas. Despite taking three podiums this season, the Finn looked far off the pace of the two championship contenders across the seven races so far.

While Bottas is clearly struggling this season, Mercedes’ comments in the past haven’t helped his situation a lot. Speaking to Motorsport.tv, Montoya referred to the Finn’s incident in Monaco, where Toto Wolff partially blamed him for the disastrous pit-stop that ended his race.

He said, “Instead of working together and saying, ‘we had an issue,’ they went afterwards and said, ‘Oh, you know he just didn’t stop in the right place’ instead of going, ‘Oh, maybe the guy with the gun didn’t put the gun completely straight.’

“So, it just seems, I think, in his mind they’re attacking him.”

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Montoya: Mercedes need to make a decision on Bottas

The Colombian thinks the Silver Arrows need to decide on the best way forward as soon as possible. He believes this will help the Finn stay focused for the rest of the season while also improving relationships in their garage.

“They either commit to him and say, ‘Look, we’re with you and things will get a lot better,'” said Montoya. “And I think, either way they decide they need to go, they need to make a decision quick. Because it will make the relationship a lot easier once the decision is made.”

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Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Third placed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the press conference after qualifying FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Although the Finn is far from challenging for the title at the moment, he has a chance to set things straight at the Styrian Grand Prix this weekend. Bottas can take motivation from the fact that he finished second in the Styrian mountains last time out, which could be the confidence booster he needs.

Can the 31-year-old upset the championship contenders by taking his first win of the season on June 27?

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WATCH STORY: Toto Wolff Swears, Valtteri Bottas Bares: Funniest Moments From Drive to Survive

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Sanket Nair

310 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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