Mercedes state Bottas did not wish to offend anyone with his bat comment
The Finn kind of joked about the start of COVID-19 being the worse day as his Turkish GP.
Bottas reaction to Turkish GP:
Valtteri Bottas lightens mood after disastrous F1 Turkish GP which involved multiple spins for the driver as he felt happy that the grand prix ended.
After another disastrous outing in F1 Turkish GP, where Mercedes' Bottas lost the chance to win his maiden world championship, the Finn tried to use humour element to lift his spirits up while speaking to TV media, after finishing only 14th and a lap down.
When asked from Ziggo Sport if this can be counted as his worst day, Bottas agreed but added that the worst day would be when someone started the COVID-19 pandemic. "I could skip today from my calendar," he said. "Or maybe the day when someone bought a bat in Wuhan or this one."
It all started to go downhill for him from Lap 1 itself when he had a double spin together with Renault's Esteban Ocon at Turn 1 and Turn 9. Post that he had four spins during the grand prix as he fell down the order, everytime he tried to pick himself up.
Some photos after the race suggested that Bottas carried some front-wing damage as well but it wasn't clear if that was from an earlier spin or late in the race. In fact, the part got stuck on the suspension area in the front-right of his car.
"It was a disaster, from the first lap," said Bottas. "I had a contact in Turn 1 and then a contact in Turn 9 and my steering was straight, I had a piece missing from the front wing. I just couldn't stay on track, I lost count of how many times I spun.
"I was angry with myself I only feel disappointment. I am very happy when I see where we were after 10 laps, I think we were 25 or 30 seconds behind the guys we were fighting at the end but on one hand I cannot afford to do a mistake with three corners until the end.
"As for giving up, I wouldn't just retire from the race, it is not in my nature but I am glad the race got over," summed up Bottas. While the Finn had his torrid time, teammate Hamilton went on to win the grand prix out of nowhere at one stage.
Mercedes' statement on offending comment:
Mercedes has issued a clarification of the comment made by Valtteri Bottas at the end of the F1 Turkish GP related to Wuhan/bat/COVID-19.
Post a disastrous F1 Turkish GP at Istanbul Park for Mercedes' Bottas, where he finished 14th after spinning off six times, the Finn was dejected to the core and tried to lighten his mood when speaking to Dutch TV, Ziggo Sport, in the media pen.
The interviewer asked if 'today was his worse day of his life?', to which, Bottas agreed with a smile, while adding about the day when someone bought a bat in Wuhan. "I could skip today from my calendar, yes," he said. "Or maybe the day when someone bought a bat in Wuhan or this one."
This seemingly irked certain fans in China, especially on its Twitter-like social media page, Weibo. There were even calls for a ban on Bottas from entering the country. Mercedes, however, has stepped in to resolve the matter through its own fan page.
"Dear Chinese car fans," wrote Mercedes. "As we all know, sport makes us emotional, particularly with the highs and lows brought by wins and losses. Last Sunday, Valtteri had a tough and disappointing race, in which he lost world title. He didn’t intend to offend anyone in front of the TV cameras straight after the race, and certainly meant no disrespect to China and Chinese fans.
"He still is the Valtteri we all know, he cares about every fan in China as much as we do, wishes each of you the best and to stay safe in such a difficult time, and carries the commitment to showcase exciting racing for all of you. We wish you to have a good week and look forward to the final races of the season together. Team China," summed up Mercedes.
This message, however, has not been shared on its global social media pages but it features only on the Chinese platform, Weibo. There was another bat related comment made by F2 racer and Haas F1 potential, Nikita Mazepin.
With November 17, 2019, said to be the date when the first COVID-19 case was detected, Hitech GP's Mazepin took to Instagram Story to wish the virus a happy birthday - this was taken in a bad taste in general, as the Russian later on took it down.
[Image courtesy: Daimler Media AG] [Note: The story was written on FormulaRapida.net]