Why Bottas has “mixed feelings” about his Mercedes F1 career

Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he has “mixed feelings” about his five-year tenure in Formula 1 with Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes AMG F1
Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes AMG F1
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The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark the end of Bottas’ stint with Mercedes before making the switch to Alfa Romeo for 2022.

Bottas has finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton twice - in 2019 and 2020, although he failed to take his teammate to the wire in either season.

Reflecting on his time with Mercedes, Bottas says there are “many positives” despite not achieving his goal of winning the world championship.

“Mixed feelings,” Bottas said in Abu Dhabi. “Obviously, when I joined the team in 2017 the only thing on my mind was to win the championship but that didn’t happen.

“But I need to look at the positives, I’ve grown so much as a driver and as human being I learned a lot with this team and we actually achieved pretty cool things together, so there are many positives to take.

“I think in this sport you’re never fully satisfied. But in five years I’ve achieved something and I’m sure that will help me in the future.”

With Hamilton embroiled in a titanic title fight with Max Verstappen, Bottas confirmed again that he’s willing to help his teammate to title glory on Sunday.

“Of course for my own personal weekend the goal is to maximize the performance,” Bottas explained. “Of course I will try to qualify in pole position, that’s my goal for Saturday, and then try to win the race, if I can.

“But it all depends on the situation. Lewis, he actually doesn’t need to win the race, he needs to finish ahead of Max, so that’s how it goes. Let’s see how it goes but I’m definitely willing to play as a team, because I secured my third place, so as long as we get the constructors’ championship, I’m willing to help my team to get the top position in both championships.

“It will depend on the situation, but, of course, I’d rather have my teammate to win it than the opposition, so he’s definitely getting my support.”

Looking ahead to this weekend, Bottas believes the significant track changes will improve the racing.

“Positive, I feel like they’ve done good changes to the track, at least that’s how it looks like,” he added. “In theory it should be better for racing. I think the changes were needed, so I think they’ve done good.”

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