Bottas: Constant pressure of one-year F1 contracts was too much

Valtteri Bottas has admitted that the constant pressure he faced from only having one-year contracts in Formula 1 had a more negative impact on him that he believed at the time.

Bottas: Constant pressure of one-year F1 contracts was too much
Listen to this article

The Finn has just signed a multi-season deal to join Alfa Romeo from next year, giving him for the first time some proper long term job security.

And having endured throughout his Mercedes career the permanent need to prove himself each season to keep hold of his seat, he says the different scenario with Alfa Romeo has opened his eyes to what he was missing before.

“It probably had a bigger effect on me than I thought it would, because once everything was done, and I knew what I'm going to do for the next few years, I just felt a bit more like freedom and less pressure in a way,” he said ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“It felt almost like a weight lifted off the shoulders. That's the feeling, and it's something I've never had before: that I know that actually I can focus on to something with a team, with the people around for a few years ahead, not just focusing for one year.

“Normally it's after like six months that I need to fight for my seat. So just being able to have that kind of trust from a team, that they know that I'm going to do the best I can for a few years, just feels good. And I can just really, really focus on the job and think about what I'm going to do next year.”

While Bottas says he understood the attraction for teams in keeping young drivers on their toes with pressure to perform to keep their seats, he says that after a while the situation can prove to be a negative force.

“Everyone is individual in how they cope with pressure, and which kind of pressure and which kind of length of the pressure,” he said.

“But for me, five years in that similar situation, of never being able to think further than six months, it doesn't work.

“It was definitely easier in the beginning, even though there were always discussions pretty much every year, like who's going to be in the seats, which is a distraction.

“Don't forget it was a pretty similar thing for me with Williams more or less: it was always options in the contract one year. Now it's been basically almost nine years of not being able to think long term and what was long term.”

When asked what he felt about Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s remarks that pressure is what makes diamonds, Bottas said: “I think I said to him: ‘yes for a certain amount of time it's good. It can be good. But for nine years?”

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Norris has discussed racing together with MotoGP legend Rossi
Previous article

Norris has discussed racing together with MotoGP legend Rossi

Next article

Tsunoda had ‘good chat’ with Red Bull about Mexico Q3 incident

Tsunoda had ‘good chat’ with Red Bull about Mexico Q3 incident
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Prime

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Prime

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing.

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023