Valtteri Bottas fires another shot at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas replaced Nico Rosberg at Mercedes in 2017, before spending five years with the Silver Arrows alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he’s been living life “fully” again, with the Finn feeling like he’s been allowed to have fun, a sensation he believed he wasn’t “allowed” to have at Mercedes.

Bottas enjoyed a solid first season with the Hinwil-based outfit, following his move to Alfa Romeo at the start of 2022 after departing Mercedes.

The 33-year-old was somewhat kicked-out of Mercedes at the end of 2021 and replaced by George Russell, despite Bottas and Lewis Hamilton having formed a formidable partnership during their five-year stint together.

Despite having been a midfield driver last year, Bottas appeared to be enjoying life more than he was at Mercedes, with the Finn no longer feeling “bad” for “doing fun stuff”.

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He often uploads photos of himself in incredible places after a Grand Prix nowadays, with the driver having posted a now famous photo after the Miami Grand Prix, of him laying naked in a stream.

Bottas used his trip to Argentina as an example of how doing fun things made him feel “fresh mentally”, with his South American adventure having taken place between the races in Mexico and Brazil.

“Once COVID kind of went away, traveling got even easier now again, but I can say I’ve been living fully between the races as well!” said Bottas to  

“Of course I still work with the team — we do all the meetings and I go to the factory often — but then when I’m off I do lots of cool things.

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“Previously I almost felt bad doing fun stuff, almost had a feeling that I’m not allowed to have fun! But as I’ve learned more about myself, I do way more things that I want to do instead of what I think I’m supposed to do.

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“So I try to do things that give me good energy. I think part of it is for sure that I’ve learned about myself — I’m maybe a bit easier on myself and able to follow what I want to do.

“In the gap between Mexico and Brazil I stayed in Argentina in a few different places. Then when I got to Brazil I felt so fresh mentally because I’ve been doing other kinds of things.

“Even though the end of the year is hectic, a small break can make a huge difference, to me at least.  When I get to the track then it’s all about racing and focusing fully on the weekend, but when it’s time off then it’s time off.”