Valtteri Bottas: Mercedes knew they should have listened to me

Valtteri Bottas believes Mercedes have accepted that they should listen to him better after the drama of the French Grand Prix.

Bottas asked Mercedes to fit him with a new set of tyres after struggling with graining on his one-stop strategy at Paul Ricard.

Mercedes though did not follow Bottas’ wishes, with the Finn going on to miss out on the podium after being passed by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Bottas was far from pleased with Mercedes, leading to a heated exchange over the radio, and it does seem like it worked with the Finn now expecting Mercedes to pay greater attention to what he has to say.

“As a driver, in terms of communication, feedback and requests, you always learn and I maybe need to be more direct,” Bottas told reporters ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.

“But I feel like they understood that they should listen and like I said, we live and learn. I think in the future, things will be better.”

Rants over the radio are certainly nothing new in the world of Formula 1, and as Bottas pointed out, Formula 1 is an elite level sport, not a “tea party”.

“That is racing. There are emotions. It is so hard to describe the feeling when you are in the car and we are not at a tea party,” he explained.

“We are in an elite top-level sport and I want to do well and want the team to do well so there are emotions even for a Finn.”

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With Formula 1 negotiating a triple-header, Bottas has had only a few days to reflect before switching focus to the Styrian Grand Prix.

And although he would not say he feels “happier” now with Mercedes’ decision at Paul Ricard, he does understand the situation better.

“I think happier is not maybe the right word but I understand more things,” he confirmed.

“Obviously, when you are in the car you have a limited view on the race situation so it was important to go through everything as we always do.

“So I do understand the situation better but still the fact is in the situation where I was with my tyres at that point, it was suboptimal but we can’t go back in time and we always keep on learning.”

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