“You Accept the Situation” – Valtteri Bottas Reflects on Infamous Role to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes F1

Published 01/03/2022, 11:38 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas after finishing second and third respectively REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic


Valtteri Bottas has now left the Brackley building. Looking back at his five years with the championship-winning team, Bottas reflects on his contributions to Mercedes’ historic feat. Although Bottas had a dazzling career with the team, the label that won’t leave him would be that of being the second driver.

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Mercedes won its eighth championship in 2021, Lewis Hamilton has won four titles in the span Bottas was his teammate. Even Nico Rosberg left Mercedes with a title in hand. Yet, the role of being Hamilton’s right-hand man held back the dependable Finn from claiming the crown. Bottas came close in 2020, but it wasn’t his year.

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In an interview, Valtteri admits it took a lot of time to adjust to his role in assisting Hamilton. “I think that unconsciously, it can change the attitude of some people and the way they make decisions. There were also clear cases in which I have been in the support role; the first time that happened was in 2018 and it was very hard to accept.”

Obviously, it took a toll on the driver mentally; the distasteful position put him second on the list for the title. Yet, the only way around it was through. “It was not good mentally, but with the passage of time, you accept the situation.”

Valtteri Bottas looks to leave behind second driver role in Mercedes

Now, Bottas moves to the team from Hinwil. With Alfa Romeo, Bottas knows he won’t have to worry about the tag of ‘second driver’; instead, he hopes to lead the team. “I am looking forward to leading Alfa Romeo. That is one of the reasons why I have made this change and I think I will enjoy it.”

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Further, Bottas looks to make the most of his new situation. “I am ready to have a great responsibility and it will be crazy to think that it is already my tenth season in Formula 1. I am going to apply as best as possible everything I have learned with Mercedes here.”

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As Bottas takes on the role of a lifetime, it will be interesting to see how the Finn navigates the Alfa Romeo. Will the team give Bottas an opportunity for wins and podiums amid the new regulations? Only a couple of months before we find out.

Watch this story: Shortest F1 Drivers Ever Featuring Yuki Tsunoda & Lando Norris

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Shreya Sanjeev

776 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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