Valtteri Bottas talks about the supportive environment at Mercedes

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas talks about the supportive relationship he enjoys with the engineers at Mercedes and gets support from Toto Wolff!

In 2020 due to COVID-19 precaution measures, face to face contact between Formula 1 team members has been severely limited.

“We don’t have any physical drivers’ meetings like we used to, it’s now all done virtually,” Bottas said on BBC’s Top Gear.

“Actually there are race weekends when I don’t really see my engineers. There are only a few people I’m in close contact with.

“Many times, I’m in my room and I’ll just put the helmet on and walk into the garage, jump in the car, then come back and do the meetings digitally. There’s definitely less time to interact with the team.”

However, the relationship with his engineers is still as strong as ever.

“There are so many people you need to rely upon on a race weekend and you make good friends here.

“The relationship with the core engineering team on my side of the garage is really, really supportive and open, so we can speak about anything.

“If anyone makes a mistake, they can always speak about it and get support. One of the key things we tried to create in the team is to keep it open – there’s nothing you can’t talk about.”

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However, conversation topics within the paddock are usually focused on Formula 1 and don’t delve too much into personal issues.

“Drivers don’t discuss men’s health issues much, to be honest. Conversation is obviously performance-focused – that’s the main thing in the paddock to focus on, and on race weekend we rarely speak about those other things.”

The supportive atmosphere was on display when Toto Wolff gave his comments on Bottas’ catastrophic Turkish Grand Prix. During the race, the Finn suffered many problems and spun six times.

“I think he suffered from what many other drivers suffered that the tyres were simply never in the right temperature window,” said Wolff.

“There were other drivers, I think Max [Verstappen] spun three times and god knows how many others [also had spins].

“Once you’re in that spiral it’s very difficult to set yourself back in a good position mentally and I think this is everything came together for him – the perfect storm.”

Wolff went on to praise Mercedes’ driver combination of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

“I like Valtteri and Lewis – the combination works well. When Lewis has a bad day then Valtteri pulls it off and the other way round, Valtteri had a very bad day and Lewis wins the race.

“I think this combination works really well for the team.”

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