Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he thought about quitting F1 after the team order debacle during 2018 Russian GP in Season 3 of Drive to Survive.
The Episode 3 of Drive to Survive Season 3, released on Friday, centered around Mercedes and the 2020 Russian GP at Sochi Autodrom. It was the one grand prix where the Netflix crew were given full access – with conditions – to be in the German team’s garage.
It looked smooth all-through, but the ‘bad co-incidence’ of having Netflix crew finally played when Lewis Hamilton was penalised due to practice start controversy. The episode showed how frustrating it was for the Brit and also the team, including Toto Wolff.
So much so, that Wolff visited the stewards, just as the grand prix finished, while the podium ceremony was on. The Austrian was also upset for the Russian GP qualifying, where Bottas lost second place and a Mercedes front-row lockout chance at the last moment.
Hamilton got pole, where a mistake from Bottas left him half a second down in second. On the start/finish line, the Finn consciously/unconsciously gave a tow to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, which helped the Dutchman to snatch second away from him.
As a result, Bottas was third, which is the place he wanted to start from – if not first – as the tow factor in Russia is huge. Wolff was upset with no Mercedes 1-2, as he conveyed it to his team officials and also the race engineer of the Finn.
The Hamilton penalty and a fighting drive from Bottas allowed him to win the grand prix, when he recalled the 2018 moment as one of his F1 career’s lowest of all. That grand prix saw him lead the race from Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for major part.
However, in the dying stages of the race, Mercedes asked Bottas to give way for Hamilton, who eventually took the win. It was crucial for the Brit to register the victory while fighting for the title against Vettel and Ferrari. It left a huge dent in the Finn’s confidence.
He even thought of quitting as he revealed when speaking to the Netflix crew. “That was tough,” said Bottas on Drive to Survive. “It was pretty tough to accept. I was pretty angry. “Honestly, I was thinking ‘Why do I do this?’ I was even thinking of quitting, of giving up. After the race, I said I would not do it [let Hamilton through] again.
“Having Lewis as my teammate, this multiple world champion, one of the best ever, is pretty tough. I should be always happy to be on the podium but if your team-mate wins and you are second, you feel like you have lost.
“I know I have been second in the past but I want to prove I am not just a number two. I hate to be second. There are many couch commentators in the sport but I don’t let it get to me. I know what I am still aiming for and what I am capable of and Lewis knows how hungry I am for the wins and for my first title,” summed up Bottas. In the same episode, Wolff chose to state ‘f**k you’ – while smiling – when asked, if the Finn is their #2.
On the topic of teammates, the episode also – for the first time – had Hamilton talk about Nico Rosberg. The Brit admitted that being teammates, it is difficult eventually to have the best of friendship, especially when fighting for the one same thing, it eventually gets sour.
Hamilton agreed that it went bad with Rosberg, as the German also made an appearance in the episode. They showcased some moments from the 2016 F1 season, where their bond was at its worst and a title win for the German, helped him to move away from the sport.
Here’s where you can watch Drive to Survive: https://www.netflix.com/title/80204890
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