F1 News

Bottas speaks out on Mercedes: 'Not a very relaxed atmosphere'

Bottas speaks out on Mercedes: 'Not a very relaxed atmosphere'

12 August - 20:00 Last update: 21:25


Valtteri Bottas did not leave Mercedes of his own volition, but soon realised that he would be better suited to it elsewhere. At Alfa Romeo, the Finn feels more appreciated and plays an important role within the team. The atmosphere is also very different to that of his previous employer, Bottas told Viaplay in an interview.

When Nico Rosberg suddenly decided to hang up his helmet after winning the world title in 2016, an unexpected opportunity presented itself for Bottas. The Finn, who was still driving for Williams at the time, was allowed to take over the world champion's seat. He joined Mercedes with big ambitions and won three races in his first season with the team, but the following year did not go his way. In 2018, he recorded no wins, which brought him criticism. After this, Bottas never really managed to convince and his role at the team mainly revolved around helping Lewis Hamilton.

Not a relaxed atmosphere at Mercedes

"It was not easy, for sure", Bottas begins his story. Switching from Williams to Mercedes was a big change for the driver and he put quite a bit of pressure on himself at the start. "I wanted to win everything immediately. It was really hard to accept when that didn't happen in the first couple of years. Also then accepting to be in a support role, that was something I couldn't quite get my head around," the Finn continued.

Moreover, the atmosphere within the team was not always pleasant. "It was not a very relaxed atmosphere, if I'm honest", he admits. Everything was therefore about performing and having fun was not a priority. "That's quite different to what I feel now. Now I enjoy F1 a lot," said Bottas, who despite everything speaks of a "great experience with some race wins, poles and five constructors titles".

Video player

More videos