Mika Hakkinen on Valtteri Bottas’ Issue at Mercedes F1: “There Was Always a Locked Door Waiting. If the Mat Is Constantly Pulled Under Your Feet, Then It Will Eat Your Self-Confidence”

Published 01/14/2022, 5:38 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Mexico Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Edgard Garrido


Valtteri Bottas finally managed to break himself out of a very stringent five-year stint with Mercedes; The Finn spent most of his time playing second fiddle to his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, rather than actually challenging him for the championship titles.

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What’s more, there was also the case of contract offer that often irked Bottas. Unlike Hamilton, Bottas never received a contract in bulk from Mercedes.

Instead, all of his contracts only lasted for a year, as the team always had him on tight ropes. Hence, Bottas more often than not, found himself under immense pressure to deliver the results that Mercedes demanded.

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So, amidst a new journey with Alfa Romeo in the offing, former F1 driver, Mika Hakkinen, opined that the world could finally witness the best of Bottas.

What did the Finnish F1 driver say?

Speaking to SuomiF1, Hakkinen admitted that Bottas will no longer be racing for a team as dominant as Mercedes. However, despite taking a step back from a top-field team to a mid-field team, the Finn felt that Bottas will finally be able to breathe, especially with Alfa Romeo resting their entire trust on him, a factor that was missing at Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP prepares to drive in the garage during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Valtteri is a great team player and driver. He’s going to drive in a nice stable. However, he will not be fighting for similar investments compared to Mercedes time. The resources of the teams are not comparable,” Hakkinen said.

Now, however, he can prepare in the long run.

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Hakkinen admits Mercedes were too harsh

Hakkinen pictured the situation Bottas had to fight through following every single F1 season with Mercedes. And he ultimately inferred that Mercedes’ lack of credit led Bottas to lose his self-confidence.

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At Mercedes, with contracts of the year, light was always visible at the end of the tunnel, but there was always a locked door waiting. That uncertainty eats away at self-confidence. He did not get the credit he wanted from Mercedes. If the mat is constantly pulled under your feet, then it will eat your self-confidence,” he said.

Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN during Formula 1 testing at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Now Valtteri has the opportunity to drive in the stable in the long run, where he is trusted.”

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Overall, a rather tempting season ahead for Bottas, as he finds himself under very minimal pressure and also with massive backing Alfa Romeo. So, will the 10-time Grand Prix winner be able to unravel his best form yet for the Sauber-led outfit?

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Rohit Kumar

1676 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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