Valtteri Bottas admits he was on the verge of quitting Mercedes after team orders – “Just really tired”

The 2018 Russian Grand Prix was one of the most difficult races for Valtteri Bottas. After receiving team orders, the Mercedes driver had to make do with a P2 even after starting from pole and leading the race all the while.

It was this race that made Bottas question if he should continue in Formula 1 or not.

By the end of the 2018 season, the Finn had almost called his team and handed in his resignation.

Valtteri Bottas. Source:

Bottas talks about Sochi

Recently, in an interview, Bottas revealed details about his unlucky race in Sochi.

“I managed to survive until the end [of the season],” he said. “I still tried to give it all I had every weekend. But once the season was over, I was really tired. Physically, yes, but mentally it was tough.

“All the way until early January I was thinking should I call the team and say, ‘OK, that’s me, job done.’

“But then it was like a switch I found: basically, f*ck it, I’m not gonna give up. I had to see the big picture, that if I quit now, I would regret it all my life,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on podium. Source:

Hamilton is a tough competitor

Towards the end of the 2018 season, Hamilton claimed his 5th world championship title while Bottas was down at P5 lagging behind by 161 points.

When the race began, Bottas managed to stay ahead after starting from pole. He managed to keep both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel behind him.

However, by lap 25, the Finn received team orders to let Hamilton pass him.

Team orders put Bottas in doubt

Hamilton and Bottas. Source:

Bottas immediately questioned the order by saying that he was going to go faster in the next lap. However, he was greeted by a message from James Vowles.

“Valtteri, it’s James. We had a risk with Lewis against Vettel. He has a small blister. I had to do this to make sure we secure this, I understand,” Vowles said.

Bottas is currently in his third season with Mercedes.

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