Valtteri Bottas Explains Post-Sochi Mercedes PU Jibe

Published 10/08/2021, 11:12 AM EDT
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP gives the crowd a thumbs up from the fan stage during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


Valtteri Bottas has had a growing reputation as an internet personality over the season. With memes, TikToks, and numerous jokes, the Finn has unraveled a side of him few have seen before. After his fifth engine and the penalty in Sochi, Bottas posted a meme on his story, joking about the overall pointless move. It could be seen as a dig at Mercedes, but Bottas revealed it wasn’t too serious.

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When asked if the team had anything to say about his meme, Bottas remarked that there wasn’t anything to discuss. “I haven’t heard from them. I assume they are fine with it and I just thought it was funny.” The Mercedes driver added, “I saw it pass by somewhere and had to laugh. Sometimes you just need a little humor in life.”

Bottas’ humor with the Silver Arrows is something that fans have been enjoying. Bottas has made jokes about himself, some hilarious videos for the team, and he has found this new flair to entertain.

Valtteri Bottas talks PU changes

For the race in Monza, Bottas was given an upgraded PU, one that put him at the back of the grid despite winning the sprint qualifying on Saturday. Regardless, Bottas charged through the field and settled for a podium place.

However, a fortnight later, ahead of the Russian GP on Sunday, Mercedes announced the driver would once again change his PU. Max Verstappen was starting the race in P20, bearing the very penalty Bottas had been given. However, Bottas would start a few places ahead of Verstappen; a move many assumed played into Mercedes’ strategy to block Verstappen.

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Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Bottas explained the situation from the team’s perspective. “Obviously we tried to maximize the points for the Constructors’ Championship. We managed to draw small gaps to Red Bull. But the weekends were certainly not perfect. Lately, grid penalties have become a thing. The team is working very hard to find out exactly what is going on. They try to avoid the grid penalties.”

Although Mercedes is trying to dodge the grid penalties, they will make one final move with Hamilton. Lewis is set to get a 10-place grid drop on Sunday after the team made minor changes to his chassis, as it looks like the grid will shuffle itself because of these penalties.

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All things considered, it will make for interesting racing.

Watch this story: Ugliest Moments in Hamilton-Rosberg Rivalry

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Shreya Sanjeev

447 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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