Valtteri Bottas In Hot Water After Wuhan Bat Joke

The Mercedes F1 Team have issued a statement on the matter, saying Valtteri Bottas didn’t mean to offend anyone in China.

Valterri Bottas had by far his worst race of the season last time out in Turkey, with him spinning over six times and finishing the grand prix well outside the points.

And, with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton winning the race, the Brit was declared champion of the 2020 season with three races to spare.

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In a post-race interview, Bottas made a joke about the COVID-19 pandemic when asked a question by Dutch television broadcaster Ziggo.

“If there was one day from 2020 you could skip from your calendar [would it be] today?” they asked, to which Bottas replied:

“Today, yes, or maybe the day when someone bought a bat in Wuhan.”

The joke led to Bottas being criticised on Chinese social media and prompted the Mercedes F1 Team to issue a statement.

“Dear Chinese fans, as we all know, sport makes us emotional, particularly with the highs and lows brought by wins and losses.

“Last Sunday, Valtteri had a tough and disappointing race, in which he lost world title. He didn’t intend to offend anyone in front of the TV cameras straight after the race, and certainly meant no disrespect to China and Chinese fans.

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“He still is the Valtteri we all know, he cares about every fan in China as much as we do, wishes each of you the best and to stay safe in such a difficult time, and carries the commitment to showcase exciting racing for all of you.

“We wish you [to] have a good week and look forward to the final races of the season together. Team China,” the team concluded.

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