Mercedes has issued a clarification of the comment made by Valtteri Bottas at the end of the F1 Turkish GP related to Wuhan/bat/COVID-19.
Post a disastrous F1 Turkish GP at Istanbul Park for Mercedes’ Bottas, where he finished 14th after spinning off six times, the Finn was dejected to the core and tried to lighten his mood when speaking to Dutch TV, Ziggo Sport, in the media pen.
The interviewer asked if ‘today was his worse day of his life?’, to which, Bottas agreed with a smile, while adding about the day when someone bought a bat in Wuhan. “I could skip today from my calendar, yes,” he said. “Or maybe the day when someone bought a bat in Wuhan or this one.”
This seemingly irked certain fans in China, especially on its Twitter-like social media page, Weibo. There were even calls for a ban on Bottas from entering the country. Mercedes, however, has stepped in to resolve the matter through its own fan page.
“Dear Chinese car fans,” wrote Mercedes. “As we all know, sport makes us emotional, particularly with the highs and lows brought by wins and losses. Last Sunday, Valtteri had a tough and disappointing race, in which he lost world title. He didn’t intend to offend anyone in front of the TV cameras straight after the race, and certainly meant no disrespect to China and Chinese fans.
“He still is the Valtteri we all know, he cares about every fan in China as much as we do, wishes each of you the best and to stay safe in such a difficult time, and carries the commitment to showcase exciting racing for all of you. We wish you to have a good week and look forward to the final races of the season together. Team China,” summed up Mercedes.
This message, however, has not been shared on its global social media pages but it features only on the Chinese platform, Weibo. There was another bat related comment made by F2 racer and Haas F1 potential, Nikita Mazepin.
With November 17, 2019, said to be the date when the first COVID-19 case was detected, Hitech GP’s Mazepin took to Instagram Story to wish the virus a happy birthday – this was taken in a bad taste in general, as the Russian later on took it down.
— #MsportXtra (@MsportXtra) November 17, 2020
Here’s the full story of Valtteri Bottas