F1 journalist reveals ‘toxic’ and ‘arrogant’ driver she hates interviewing – “It’s really embarrassing”

Formula 1 journalists often develop associations and friendships with drivers over years of globetrotting with them.

However, for Finnish Formula 1 journalist Mervi Kallio, the lesser she has to interview Lance Stroll the better.

Disclosing a special distaste towards the Canadian driver, Kallio questioned his merit and passion to perform in F1.

Stroll entered the sport in 2017 at Williams through the money of his father Lawrence Stroll.

Lining up alongside Felipe Massa, Stroll was consistently out-qualified throughout the season.

To his credit, he did register a podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

This was followed by a stint at the Force India team that was in financial turmoil.

The newly named team Racing Point was his team in 2019.

Stroll was happiest in the 2020 season as he recorded two podium finishes before the team was renamed Aston Martin.

Stroll was out-qualified 14 times out of 22 by Sebastian Vettel last year.

He enjoyed a superior record of 11-10 in races but was behind Vettel in overall season points.

Lance Stroll is arrogant: Kallio

Lance Stroll. Credit: thesportsrush.com

Although one can argue that putting up such a performance shows that he is improving with time, the Finnish journalist was highly critical of him.

Branding him ‘arrogant’, the Finnish journalist confessed that she despises interacting with him.

“The only driver I don’t really like interviewing is Lance Stroll,” she said.

“In those situations, he seems quite arrogant. He comes to the interview with a listless attitude.

“It’s really embarrassing because he doesn’t seem to want to show any part of himself or even be there.”

She further questioned his motivation to be in the sport and said he doesn’t quite grasp the magnitude of the opportunity bestowed on him.

“It seems like he’s not interested in other people at all. He’s got it all, but can he appreciate it? Does he even enjoy being in Formula 1?” she added.

Kallio praises Finnish driver Bottas

Valtteri Bottas. Credit: planetf1.com

Kallio reserved special praise for Alfa Romeo’s Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas.

She said she enjoyed the fact that he did not show any ego and always greeted her with a smile.

“[Bottas has] no such big ego,” she said.

“He understands that the answers he gives are not for me but for the fans. It’s part of their public relations work.”

Kallio did accept that this exuberance in Bottas’ behaviour has coincided with the end of his Mercedes stint.

She revealed that it was a result of the extreme pressure he was under while serving as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes.

“When he was at Mercedes, you could see the pressure he was under. Now, he keeps talking even when the camera is off,” he said.

“He’s one of those drivers who you can notice when the pressure is on.”

These comments come days after journalist Steve Jones said that he absolutely hated former F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen’s ‘rude’ attitude during interviews and it made him an “absolute nightmare” to interact with.

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