In a shocking revelation, Valtteri Bottas has recently revealed that he almost walked away from Formula One in 2018 after spending two years as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes, and not being able to beat him. The Finnish driver who was roped in by the Silver Arrows to replace Nico Rosberg for the 2017 season, had an excellent start with Mercedes as he claimed three wins in his maiden season with the team, and finished third in the Driver’s championship.
However, a year later Valtteri Bottas witnessed a sharp decline in his performance as he finished fifth with no victories to his name. In his recent interaction with Motor Sports Magazine podcast, he shed light on difficulties he had while racing alongside Lewis Hamilton, and confessed that he thought of almost walking away from the sports. “At the end of 2018, I almost stopped. It was so close. Just because I could not understand and take the fact that I could not beat Lewis in those two years,” he said.
Former Mercedes driver also revealed that he took too much pressure on himself especially when he was put in a support role in the team. “I really could not take it, I struggled. It was no fun,” he said. He further revealed that at the start he enjoyed the sport a lot, but as his performance suffered a massive decline, he could not take the pressure and felt too much sadness.
Valtteri Bottas further informed the criticism from fans and pundits took a toll on him as he eventually lost joy in racing. “The human mind is strange in a way that sometimes you go into dark places. You lose the joy in things and I just completely lost the joy in F1 and racing in F1. I was almost angry at F1,” he added.
Valtteri Bottas also stressed the importance of taking a break for a while as he shared that when he returned from the break, results came in his favour. “I won quite a few races and especially until halfway through the season, I was sometimes even leading the championship, so it was a pretty, pretty strong year, but then Lewis outplayed me with his consistency and overall performance which I could not match,” he concluded.