Bottas enjoying ‘big authority’ after leaving Hamilton’s shadow at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas has explained the true meaning of his famous post-victory radio message at the 2019 Australian GP.

Valtteri Bottas has become well-known in Formula 1 for some rather punchy radio messages, none more so than his post-race radio message after winning the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.

The Finnish driver famously said “to whom it may concern, f**k you”, after crossing the line to claim a famous victory.

Bottas won the 2019 season opener having experienced a disastrous 2018 season, where he finished fifth in the Drivers’ championship.

Many questioned whether Bottas was deserving of his spot at Mercedes for 2019, following his woeful 2018 campaign.

In a recent appearance on the Motor Sport Magazine podcast, Bottas explained the true meaning of the famous radio message and whether it was aimed at anyone in particular.

“No, not someone particularly,” Bottas revealed.

“It was more like, because I got a lot of criticism throughout the last part of ’18 [like] should I be a Mercedes driver, and is he the right guy for the team – that started to annoy me.

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“So it was basically for people who were trying to push me down. I don’t know, I kind of used that as motivation then for that race.”

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Podcast host Chris Medland asked Bottas if the message was in fact aimed at himself.

“Kind of, yeah,” Bottas admitted.

“[In] those kind of moments, I just want to tell people to always look at the big picture in life and, if you feel a bit anxious about things, take a step back.

“There’s always so much more to get if you don’t give up.”

Since leaving Mercedes at the end of last season, Bottas has performed brilliantly at the Alfa Romeo F1 Team.

The Finn has been a regular points finisher so far this season, demonstrating on a number of occasions the pace that saw him signed by Mercedes for 2017.

On the podcast, Bottas discussed his reason for joining the Swiss outfit; how most importantly it was a fresh start for himself.

“Definitely, for me, it was like all about taking a step back,” he explained.

“Resetting the goals and expectations and I created different kinds of goals, which is trying to help the team with all the knowledge I have.

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“[We’ll] try to push, motivate the team and try to make progress. Result-wise, no big expectations for the first year. But, actually, we realised pretty quickly that once we got the reliability with the car, we actually have pretty good pace performance.

“At some tracks, we’re really almost up there fighting with the big teams and that’s been so amazing in a way that it’s not maybe something I quite expected for the first year.

“But I knew the potential was there. So it’s been really nice. The role I have in the team is quite different than I’ve ever had. It’s such a nice vibe and feeling and also having quite a big authority on things and being able to change things quickly. Everything is really enjoyable,” Bottas concluded.