Valtteri Bottas Reveals How Nico Rosberg Increased His Pressure While Joining Mercedes F1 in 2017

Published 08/12/2021, 8:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas walks around the track ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Valtteri Bottas is currently in the midst of his 5th season for Mercedes which is likely to come to a halt by the end of 2021. And of course, despite the sloppy ongoing season, Bottas has undeniably played a crucial role in winning Mercedes the constructor’s titles and his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, the driver’s titles.

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Hence, the fact that he managed to impress a top-field team like Mercedes in the very first season in 2017 was quite incredible. However, Bottas revealed it wasn’t as easy, considering he had to replace a world champion, and the expectations from him were soaring high.

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What did Valtteri Bottas say?

In an exclusive interview with HYPEBEAST, Bottas opened up that he had big shoes to fill, as his predecessor, Nico Rosberg had just retired after winning an F1 title. The Finn further reckoned that there was always the pressure to deliver each season, which could be mentally draining.

I definitely had big shoes to fill. You’re replacing a guy who had just won the world championship and then he decided to stop,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

I was the next one in line and the team chose me so for sure. In this sport, there’s always some form of pressure. But it was a big jump in my career and I had to make sure that I could make the most out of the opportunity, to perform and get a new contract for the following year,” Bottas added.

How Bottas earned the trust of Mercedes

Bottas opened up that the 2017 Russian Grand Prix was one of the game-changing race weekends with respect to earning Mercedes’ trust. The Finn defeated his championship-winning teammate, Hamilton, to secure his first win at Sochi.

I’ve had to do that pretty much every year because in this sport you always have to prove yourself. I think as the years go by, you start to learn how to deal with it. And luckily for me, it only took a few races into the season to get my first win, which earned the trust of the team,” Bottas revealed.

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Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after retiring from the race REUTERS/David W Cerny

However, Bottas is very much losing the plot with Mercedes at the moment. After a poor end to 2020, Bottas’ start to 2021 has been way short of anything spectacular. Despite arriving at the season’s halfway point, Bottas is still searching for his first win.

Hence, with Mercedes days numbered, can Bottas end his phase with the Brackley outfit with a flourish? We’ll know in time.

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Rohit Kumar

1143 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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