Bottas: Fiery radio message not a sign of breakdown with Mercedes

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Valtteri Bottas says it would be "completely false" for anyone to interpret his very direct and fiery radio message in last weekend's French Grand Prix as a breakdown of his relationship with Mercedes.

Bottas vented his anger at his team in the closing stages of last Sunday's race for not opting for a two-stop strategy that could have allowed him, in his view, to fight for a race win or at least a top-three finish.

The untypical heated reaction from the mild-mannered Finn was unleashed against a backdrop of speculation regarding the Finn's future with Mercedes.

It was therefore perceived by some as a sign that Bottas' relationship with his team is crumbling.

"I can be very direct on that, that perception is completely false," defended the Finn, speaking in Spielberg ahead of this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix.

"We have a good relationship with the team. There are no issues. Those kind of situations, they’re normal.

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W12. 18.06.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, French Grand Prix, Paul Ricard,

"I’m sure that not all the things have been broadcast in the past, and what has brought us this far as a team has always been being direct, and has always being honest on your feelings, and if you feel there is a place for improvement.

"So it’s nothing new, and everything is good."

Bottas message was actually well received by Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff who encouraged his driver to "speak his mind".

"I’m glad if he liked it, but I wasn’t that happy obviously in that situation," Bottas said. "But that’s racing, that’s emotions.

"It’s so hard to describe the feeling when you’re in the car. We’re not at a tea party, we’re in an elite top sport.

"I want to do well, I want the team to do well. There are emotions, even for a Finn."

Bottas has trailed teammate Lewis Hamilton in every race so far this season, a deficit that only adds to the mounting doubts about his future.

But the nine-time Grand Prix winner vowed to go about his business, pointing out that there remained 16 races to go and that contract discussions will take place in due time.

"Everyone knows how this sport works: if you make results, you will earn your place where you deserve to be," Bottas said.

"If you don’t make results, and the team feels like they need to change the driver, then they’ll change the driver. It’s very simple in this sport.

"Again, I’m just going back that there’s 16 races to go. The team knows what I’m capable of, they know how valuable I’ve been in the recent years of getting the championship, etc.

"It’s not yet time for those discussions. We’re now in the beginning of the triple header, that’s the focus now, and I’m sure in the off weeks we’ll have time to discuss when it’s going to be the time.

"But that’s the situation, and that’s where I’m at. I need to try and maximise. It’s simple."

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