Former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas revealed he didn’t want to become like Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, instead choosing to become a great team player.
Mercedes’ atmosphere was one of chaos and toxicity before Bottas arrived. The reason for that was the extremely heated rivalry between drivers Rosberg and Hamilton for three years, to the point where the pair couldn’t stand one another.
When Rosberg won the world championship in 2016, he immediately announced his retirement. The team responded by signing the Finn to partner Hamilton, and since then, Mercedes have had a very harmonious environment.
In a recent interview, Bottas revealed he didn’t want to become another Rosberg at Mercedes, saying that he prioritised the team ahead of himself.
“All I know (is) that if I hadn’t been such a team player, there would have been more tension in the team,” he said, as quoted by Formula1news.co.uk.
“That would mean less cooperation between me and Lewis. That would mean, in long term, not as good performance as a team.
“Because, if there’s harmony, if we can work together, then we’re playing for (the) long term, for the best interests of the team. We can develop the car together and we can discuss things openly. I’ll always try to think about that.”
“Plus, there’s been always this factor that I’ve been always on (a) one-year contract, and if I start playing around, what happens then?” he explained.
“Also not having the knowledge of the future and what happens if I start to not to listen to the team or team orders. It’s been always a factor as well. It was tough.
“Obviously I made a decision, I did it although it was like biting my own teeth. It really didn’t feel natural, not right, because I’m a racer, but I did it for the team.
“I think at the moment I lost a certain sense of…like everything became a bit more tricky after that for the rest of the season as I realised my role is now basically just helping. And I couldn’t really digest that,” he concluded.