Former F1 Champion Blames Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes’ Strategy Blunder in France

Published 06/24/2021, 4:52 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 didn’t have the weekend he wanted to at the recent French Grand Prix. He lost a podium finish and had to settle for fourth place. The Finn was understandably furious with Mercedes for not listening to him about having a two-stop strategy, which could have possibly given the Brackley-based outfit a better result.

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However, former F1 driver Damon Hill doesn’t agree with Bottas. Instead, he feels that the Finn should have taken more responsibility, and been more assertive; Damon believes Valtteri should have come into the pits even if the team didn’t agree with him on the strategy.

Hill doesn’t have any sympathy for Valtteri Bottas after strategy fail

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On an episode of the podcast, F1 Nation with TC, Pinks & Damon, Hill said, “Why didn’t he just come in anyway? The point is, it’s about responsibility. If Valtteri wanted to just say, ‘I’m coming in, get the tyres’, he has to take the responsibility for it not working.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“And the thing about decisions like that is it’s who’s going to take the can when it goes wrong,” he concluded.

Watch Story: Toto Wolff Swears, Valtteri Bottas Bares: Funniest Moments From Drive to Survive

What did the Finn say on the team radio?

Mercedes’ number #77 driver was in third place and looked like he was set to feature on the podium at Paul Ricard. However, he was soon overtaken by Sergio Perez and fell down to fourth. Bottas was furious with his Mercedes colleagues over the pitstop strategy, and he expressed his anger over the team radio.

He said, “Why the f*ck you didn’t listen to me when I told you it was gonna be a two-stopper? F*cking hell!”

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A frustrated Bottas had to settle for fourth place and earned twelve points for his team that weekend. Fortunately, he has good things to look forward to, as the next two races will take place in Austria – where he won a race last season.

Hence, Bottas is looking forward to the race this weekend, as a way of redeeming himself from the heartbreaking French GP.

Can Valtteri bounce back at the Red Bull Ring and secure a podium finish for the Silver Arrows? We will just have to wait for the weekend to find out.

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DIVE DEEPER

Not a Good Vibe: Ex F1 Driver Believes Bottas Has Been Told of Mercedes Departure

about 1 month ago

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Arpit Gomes

631 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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