- Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas [Copyright: Alpine]

Podcast: Bottas, Alonso talk of their F1 careers, current time, future & more

The two feature on different episodes of F1 podcast.

7w ago

The two Beyond the Grid F1 podcasts features Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso as the two talk about their careers, current time and future.

Valtteri Bottas:

The beginning of the F1 Beyond the Grid Podcast sees Mercedes' Bottas talk about the last two years, including his divorce, basing himself more in Monaco and in reference to lockdown, he felt he has learnt more about himself. He felt the lockdown break helped him see life after F1, that he will be happy outside still.

He found the COVID break difficult to accept as it was so long as he missed the adrenaline, excitement and competition.  He was able to drive non competitively. He then spoke about endurance training (cycling) could be bad long term; kills speed and decision making skills, and reactions. He states that too much endurance training eats up your other strengths and his strengths are reactions, coordination and speed which is why he tried to avoid super long rides when cycling.

About his personal life, Bottas said that it helped having a girlfriend who is also a professional athlete. Spoke about his passion and addiction for coffee and he is aiming to influence more people to drink coffee, as he added about his ownership of a coffee roaster in Finland.  Also spoke about the positives and negatives of coffee. Also, he has been a judge at the Finnish coffee championships.

Back to F1 and racing, Bottas talked about his time at Mercedes where he has grown massively and learnt lots. It was hard work but great. If he could turn the clock back when joining in 2017, he would be more patient, he achieved what he wanted but sometimes he tried too hard. If he had known in 2017, he would be with them five years he would have allowed himself be more patient, more forgiving to himself and he eels he would have performed better with a multi-year contract.

Bottas then spoke about Sochi 2018, letting Lewis Hamilton through on team orders while going through a tough time at Mercedes. He then realised that his role was a support one but felt he got a fair deal from the team. He states the biggest difference between him and he Brit is that he was always able to perform at the highest level consistently and has always delivered. He says a good consistent run gives you form, confidence and consistency where mental strength is very important and Hamilton had it in abundance.

Talking more, Bottas says mental fitness is marginally more important than physical strength as all 20 drivers are physically strong enough to win Grands Prix. He goes on to advise that 2014 was his best season, his most complete and consistent year also. He was in a good place mentally and could really focus on driving and perform. It helped that he knew he where he would be the following years to come. He felt once more he was harsh on himself in 2017. He stated there was no pressure in 2014 which helped him perform better. He feel he is more complete but he has been unlucky at Mercedes too.

Talking about his former F1 team, he says he was surprised that Williams sold out last year but is pleased the name is still alive. He believes the mindset between the two outfits is very different as he notes that his first win was the best and that he is very proud of his contribution to Mercedes success. He feels he gave his 100% but it hurts not to be a WDC.  He feels there would have been more tension if he wasn’t a Team Player.

He notes that the pressure is good and it gets more out of you, but pressure contractually is not as healthy. He says Toto Wolff is very tough to negotiate with and gets the upper hand always but sees him as a friend. He says that when the team could not offer two years, he knew he would be leaving and says he is happy to go to Alfa Romeo as he gives the thumbs up to George Russell.

Talking more about his new F1 team, he reckons the team has everything they need to succeed but there is work there to be done. He says the ingredients are there for success.  He is looking forward to building the team around him. For 2022, he feels they will be consistently in the points and he is not sure if people will leave Mercedes with him. He feels the schedule for 2022 is at its limit as it is quite compressed.

Talking about Mercedes, he says he has learnt so much in the team and has lots of info on the current scenario but has not heard too much about next years car. He says there were options to go to Williams for 2022 also but by joining Alfa Romeo, he is unsure if he will ever join Ferrari (due to Alfa having Ferrari power).

When he retires, he believes he will be racing in some form or another, Rallying possibly.  He will also be doing podcasts of his own at the end of the season. He concludes by talking about a new house he is building in Finland.

Here's F1 podcast with Valtteri Bottas: audioboom.com/posts/7976541-valtteri-bottas-on-pride-pressure-and-frustration-at-mercedes

Fernando Alonso:

The F1 Beyond the Grid podcast with Alpine's Alonso happened after a 14 hour flight from Sao Paolo to Qatar. It began by the Spaniard stating that he sleeps a good deal on long flights, the flight in question, approx. 9 hours. He sometimes switches off from Motor Sport but also does reflect too and as he gets older, jet lag affects him more and more but it does not affect his driving performance.

He says he has enjoyed 2021 very much and is priviledged to return. He feels very lucky to drive in F1 as one of just 20 drivers. He states that he hadn't fallen out with F1 in 2018 but needed newer challenges in his career with Le Mans and Indy500. He felt he wanted to challenge himself and other drivers in different disciplines and reckoned it was the right move in 2018 but even earlier might have been a good time too.

He then talked about his cycling accident in February 2021 before the season began. He felt more time was needed in the car and the simulator also despite host of tests pre-season. He stated that it took 5 or 6 races to get to 100 % due to the accident as if it had not been, he would have reached 100% quicker. He says he is more careful on cycle now.

He says he is still very competitive outside the car in everything he does, no matter what it is. He goes on to talk about the new tyres in F1 this year and sees Pirelli as different to other tyres from the past due to the evolution of the cars. In a nutshell, he states the tyres now are more difficult to drive. He goes on to talk about Alpine and how different they are to the Renault team from 2009.

Alonso says it is still a family environment and winning mentality. He says all teams differ from each other where Ferrari was more passionate and chaotic, McLaren more serious and precise. He also talks about his early career at Minardi in 2001 and the trials and tribulations of his debut season. He talks about beginning and spending so many seasons racing with Kimi Raikkonen and speaks highly of him.

Moving on, Alonso speaks about the good life of F1 and the lifestyle that the drivers lead.  He feels he has had an easy life but says as he raced from such a young age, he lost out on a lot of things while growing up but he was living his dream and it was not a normal life. He says his two years away from F1 was very intense as he was driving so many different cars over that period.

He feels his talent doesn’t deserve more than he has got so far and reckons one gets what one deserves. He says that there is a plethora of drivers he raced against in younger categories who should have been in F1 and also states it is unfair that of the current grid, many drivers wont ever win a Grand Prix. He says he won more than what he dream't of.  He says the best car he drove was the Toyota in WEC in 2019/2020.

Going back in time, he says he was surprised at winning in 2005 but was very thrilled to fight in the Championship with Michael Schumacher. He says the German was his biggest rival and brought out the best in him. He enjoyed his rivalry with Hamilton, doesn’t think the Brit was ready to fight for a title in 2007 and there was some fighting within the team.  Alonso also feels he did not perform at his best and did not really integrate with the team.

He felt he had a better package at Ferrari and does advise that Hamilton pushes people to the limit. Also says Sebastian Vettel was a big rival also. The Podcast finishes with Alonso saying he would love a third title but is not desperate to get it but he remains very competitive.  Says he also want to race for another 2 or 3 years in Formula One.

Here's the F1 podcast with Fernando Alonso: audioboom.com/posts/7985036-fernando-alonso-on-schumacher-hamilton-and-title-number-3

The story was written by Neil Farrell

[Image courtesy: Alpine] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]

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