Bottas: Armchair critics motivate me to do better in F1

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas says armchair critics who feel he should be doing better against Lewis Hamilton only serve to motivate him rather than get him down.

Bottas: Armchair critics motivate me to do better in F1

The Finn is heading in to his fifth season as Hamilton's teammate in 2021, and has yet to beat the Briton in the points standings since they have raced alongside each other.

The level of Hamilton's dominance at times has left Bottas facing criticism about the occasions when he should be doing better, but it is something that he says no longer bothers him.

He says that the response from 'couch commentators' is something that actually inspires, rather than rattles him.

"They really motivate me quite a lot," said Bottas in an interview with Motorsport.com when asked about his response to the critics. 

"I've learned a lot from myself not to try and let those kind of things affect me. I try to avoid that negativity.

"But no matter what you do, there's always going to be negativity: sometimes less, sometime more and it is the same with the criticism. But it's a motivation to prove people wrong. No doubt.

"And I think I've said it before: sometimes I just don't get why there is that kind of criticism. I guess there's always a reason. But I don't know that reason and again, I'm not in their position. So I've no idea what goes in their head..."

Read Also:

Bottas says that one aspect that some underestimate is the immense challenge that he faces in having to go up against potentially the greatest F1 driver in equal machinery.

"I think the people who really properly understand the sport and, look at details, and think of things in other people's shoes or driver's shoes, I think they understand," he says.

"But there's many, for sure, like, in any sport, there's always couch commentators who might, you know, underestimate things.

"From my side, I can say that it's not an easy job. If you look at the numbers, Lewis is the most successful driver in F1 history, and I need to go up against him with decent speed and consistency weekend after weekend. So yeah, it's not an easy place to be.

"But that really motivates me, and that's the goal for me to try and beat him. That will keep me going and that will keep me pushing myself again, hopefully to a next level."

Bottas concedes there are moments where Hamilton has done something truly impressive that he cannot comprehend, but he says that he always learns to understand their differences.

"There are times that I've struggled to understand how is that possible: whether it's a single corner, or whether it has been a stint on a certain track with a certain tyre compound," he said.

"But there's always reasons and we always dig for those reasons.

"The worst thing is to leave something that you don't understand. I know that the team has pretty smart engineers, so they can always dig out the reasons and give an explanation and tell me how I can try and match that or do better."

shares
comments

Related video

Alpine F1 team “in good hands” with new management - Ocon
Previous article

Alpine F1 team “in good hands” with new management - Ocon

Next article

Red Bull's ultimatum on 2022 F1 engine freeze not "blackmail"

Red Bull's ultimatum on 2022 F1 engine freeze not "blackmail"
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022