Valtteri Bottas is loaded, a mix of anger and determination that in the past had never transpired so clearly. The determination that emerged in the radio teams during the French Grand Prix was also confirmed today at Spielberg in the press conference on Thursday, a meeting with the media that proposed a very determined Bottas.
Valtteri, however, says that there is nothing new, that basically no one (apart from the team) attends the pre and post race briefings, revealing the existence of a Bottas capable of beating his fists on the table when things don’t they go as you would like.
Regarding the future, the Finn expects to have answers in the summer (as has been the case annually since 2017) but is aware that he will have to put weighty results on the table to convince Mercedes that there is no need to bet on another driver. And regarding the possibility of the team asking him to wear Hamilton’s squire, Bottas recalled that there are sixteen races to go until the end of the World Championship.
During the French Grand Prix you did not seem satisfied with the team’s choices in terms of strategies. Did you have a chance to clear everything up after the run? Are you satisfied?
“I think ‘satisfied’ is not the right word, but I had the opportunity to assess the situation as a whole, with more data. Obviously when you are in the car you do not have a complete view, so today I understand the situation better, but the fact remains that I found myself with compromised tires. When these situations occur retrospectively, the most important aspect is to face it honestly and transparently, and to learn from what happened ”.
There was a perception that the team did not listen to you. Could you have done something different to impose your point of view?
“Even from a rider’s point of view, I believe that there is always the possibility of improving, I mean the way in which one relates. Maybe I should have been more direct, but I think the team have understood that they should always listen to my point. As I said before, you always improve, live and learn, so I think things will get better from now on ”.
Last year you confirmed yourself very fast here in Austria. Do you think you have the opportunity to repeat this again at the weekend?
“I really like this track, seven years ago right here I won my first podium in Formula 1 with Williams and then I won two Grands Prix here. Even when I have not been able to make the race my own I have always been very close, so on the eve of this weekend I can only be confident this weekend, I see no reason why I personally should not be competitive, so this is my mindset for the weekend. And without a doubt we have a good battle with Red Bull, but maybe also with other teams, so I think it won’t be easy ”.
You pointed out that perhaps you should be more direct in your requests. Do you think you’ve been too kind over the years?
“I think I made it clear what I wanted in the race, but I also think it was already too late. Maybe I should have made myself heard more before, but there are certain things that are not always easy to explain over the radio, because you try not to make other teams understand your plans and intentions. We must also think about this aspect. Regarding my being ‘too nice’, well, nobody knows how I work with the team behind the scenes, and I don’t want to add anything else ”.
Toto Wolff said after the Paul Ricard race that he appreciated your radio team, stressing that you were expressing your opinion transparently. Does this grit denote a new take on this season?
“I always try to do everything I can when I prepare for a new championship, I always ask myself what I can improve. As I said, nobody knows how I relate to the team, and I don’t think there is anything new, I always try to be direct. “
“Regarding the radio team, I’m glad Toto liked it, but at that moment I wasn’t so happy with the situation I was in and the emotions emerge, this is also part of racing. It’s hard to describe the feeling when you’re in. car, we are not in a tea party but in a sport of the highest level. I want to do well, I want the team to do well, and sometimes there are emotions, even for a Finn… “.
There are those who saw behind this episode a signal that denotes a relationship, between you and the team, no longer exceptional as in the past. How do you see it?
“I can be very direct in answering: it is a completely false perception. We have a good relationship, there are no problems and this kind of situation happens often. I’m sure that not all radio teams are broadcast, and it has been like that in the past too, the messages have always been very direct and in line with the feelings of the moment, when you think there is a way to do it better you do this. So there is nothing new ”.
Perez is clearly available to help Max in the world title. Do you think it would make sense for Mercedes to operate in the same way? Have they told you about this possibility?
“No, we haven’t discussed it. I think it’s too early, everyone has to remember that there are 16 races to go until the end of the season, and that’s a lot. At the moment there have been no discussions about it, and I don’t think there will be at this point in the championship ”.
Montoya spoke to Motorsport TV about your contractual situation, underlining that in his opinion you are not in an easy situation and you should clarify it as soon as possible …
“First of all, as many know, what I am in is not a new situation for me. I have been in the same condition every year, that is, waiting to understand what the future holds for me, that is, next season. Everyone knows how this sport works, that is, if you get important results you earn the seat you deserve on the field, vice versa the team could feel the need to change driver. Also in this case… there are sixteen races left, the team knows what I am capable of and knows how precious I have been in recent years to win the championships we have won. It is not yet the time for discussions, I am sure that in the summer weeks of rest we will have time to discuss the future ”.