Valtteri Bottas: 2019 has been my best year ever in F1
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Valtteri Bottas says he “made his point clear” to Mercedes after claiming “nobody listens” to him after an expletive team radio message during the French Grand Prix, as F1 heads to Austria for round eight this weekend.
Bottas was left fuming over team radio after surrendering second place to Max Verstappen in the final few laps at Paul Ricard as Red Bull opted for a two-stop strategy which ultimately paid off with the Dutchman securing victory in France over Lewis Hamilton.
After the move, Bottas was heard shouting to his race engineer, Riccardo Musconi: “Why the f*** does nobody listen to me when I say it’s going to be a two-stopper? F***ing hell.”
Bottas finished off the podium in fourth but clawed his way back up to fifth in the driver’s standings for Mercedes.
However, speaking ahead of the first of two races in Austria, Bottas believed his message was heard loud and clear at the team.
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“I think I made the point really clear in the race, I think by then it was already too late obviously,” explained Bottas.
“I think maybe I should’ve pushed earlier more, but also there’s an amount of things you want to say on the radio, but in how much detail and how many times until other teams realise what is the message and what are you trying to converse in terms of strategy.
“So you also need to think about that side.
“Otherwise, in the team, I do push the team. I try to give my feedback as direct as I can, so in terms of that, how we’re working now is fine.
“If I’m too nice, well, nobody knows how I work with the team behind the doors.”
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After the race Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff exclaimed that he “loved it” and was pleased “that he speaks his mind now and doesn’t internalise,” when asked about Bottas’ radio reaction.
And when asked during Thursday’s press conference if this was a new approach, Bottas replied: “I always try everything I can and when you approach a new year, of course, you try to find more from yourself and I always want to maximise my result, my team’s result.
“Nobody knows about the constructive meetings we have with the team between races and over race weekends, I don’t think it’s anything new,” he added. “I always try and be direct, and I’m glad if you liked it, but I wasn’t happy obviously in that situation.
“But that’s racing, that’s emotions, it’s so hard to describe the feeling when you’re in the car, we’re not in a tea party, we’re in an elite top sport and I want to do well, I want the team to do well, so we race with emotions, even for a Finn.”
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