'It just came out': Bottas says radio message wasn't premeditated
Valtteri Bottas tells of a bee that cost him the chance to overtake his teammate at turn one for the Russian GP, also speaking on his radio message.
The performance of Bottas in the Russian GP was not widely considered to be an exemplary one, though this might have been an adjective apt for his start, which saw him overtake Red Bull's Max Verstappen, and pull alongside Lewis Hamilton upon entry into turn two.
The Finnish F1 driver was unable to make this move stick, as he ultimately had to concede to his British adversary. This concession, he says, was forced by impaired vision -- the result of a 'massive bee' hitting his visor, as he revealed.
"Yeah, obviously I tried," said Bottas. "I knew the start would be the start would be the first opportunity but actually it was a bit compromised because there was like a massive bee or something that hit my visor just before braking, so I couldn’t really see when I should brake, so that’s why I went too deep.
"I knew it was going to be a long race after that and with the medium tyre I had there would be opportunities but obviously Lewis had the penalty so once I was in clean air I felt the pace was pretty awesome and I could control everything."
History will forever tell us, though, that a penalty would thwart Hamilton's efforts to win the race, granting first position to Bottas. It was here that the Finn spent the remainder of the race, crossing the line in first for only the second time in the season.
As he did so, he echoed a similar radio message from the 2019 F1 season opener, as he relayed the message 'To whom it may concern, f*** you' to the pit wall in celebration of his win - a statement aimed at critics, who have repeatedly attacked him for his results.
"You know, there’s been people telling me that I should not bother, I should give up but how I am, I will never do that so I just wanted to, again, send my best wishes to them," Bottas wisecracked. "It just came out, you know, so, yeah.
"But the main thing is I’m confident, when I come to every race weekend, I’m confident and I believe I can do it and that’s how I’m always going to be. You have to have that mindset so yeah, I’m glad. Even qualifying was tough, I didn’t give up.
"I looked at it positively, I knew there would be opportunities and things came to me in the race, so yeah, I hope I can encourage people not to give up because that’s the biggest mistake you can do in your life," summed up Bottas.
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]