“I was thinking of quitting [F1], of giving up”- Valtteri Bottas on receiving orders often favouring his teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The third episode of Netflix’s original Drive to Survive was majorly focused on Valtteri Bottas and his adjustments with the team, as Lewis Hamilton benefitted the most out of the team’s dominance.
‘Everyone knows the name Lewis Hamilton, not as many people know Valtteri Bottas’ 🥺🥺🥺🥺 why am I out here crying at the Bottas episode send help
— Abi 💜 (@NegansVegan) March 19, 2021
Speaking on his frustrations, Bottas talked about how he felt while being treated as a “wingman” by Mercedes and often allowing his teammate to pass ahead after receiving instructions.
“Sochi 2018, that was a pretty tough race,” he says. “Tough to accept. I was pretty angry. Honestly, I was thinking, ‘Why do I do this?’. I was thinking of quitting [F1], of giving up.”
During this race, Bottas was instructed to let Hamilton pass ahead, even though Bottas claims he would have gained his pace by the next lap, and after this, the Finn vowed to never relent on the team orders ever again.
“Straight after the race, I said I would not do it again.”
“I am not just a no. 2”- Valtteri Bottas
During the episode, Bottas reiterated the despondency he’s felt from finishing runner-up more often than not, while Hamilton went onto win four titles in the same course.
“If your team-mate wins and you are second, you feel like you lose,” the Finn said. “I know I’ve been second in the past, but I want to prove I’m not just a No2.”
Bottas also admitted that he feels that there is an unintentional bias within the team. “In the team, even though many wouldn’t admit it, maybe unconsciously they have a No1 and a No2,” he said.
“Sometimes the team members had to question themselves: ‘Are we giving equal treatment to Lewis and Valtteri?’” Even Hamilton, in the end, talked about how keen Bottas is to win the title.