Despite many positives, Valtteri Bottas has mixed feelings leaving Mercedes as he failed to become a World Champion.
The Finn joined the German team two months before the start of the 2017 campaign following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement and went on to stay there until the end of this year.
There were a lot of high points for him in those five seasons with the 32-year-old claiming 10 wins, 20 pole positions and a total of 58 podiums. He was never able to put together a title challenge though, which he admits was his primary goal when he joined the team from Williams.
That makes him feel “mixed” about the last five years, but he’s trying to focus on the positives.
“Obviously, when I joined the team in 2017 the only thing in my mind was to win the drivers’ championship,” he said as per GPFans.
“That didn’t happen, but I need to look at the positives. I have grown so much as a driver and as a human being. I’ve learned so much with the team and we have actually achieved pretty cool things together.
“That’s also many many positives that I will take on board. I think in this sport you are never fully satisfied, you know, but I think, five years, I have achieved something and I am sure that will help me in the future.”
Team-mates no more. But we’ll always remember these days. 😊 pic.twitter.com/whstrVymvC
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 19, 2021
While he never won a Drivers’ Championship, his performances were good enough to ensure the team won the Constructors’ title every single year he was there, seeing off challenges from Ferrari and Red Bull.
That, as well as the help he willingly gave team-mate Lewis Hamilton when the Brit was fighting for titles, was largely why he kept his seat there for so long, and he’s proud to have been an effective team player.
“It’s definitely a team sport,” he added.
“And we always need to work together for that goal that we set at the beginning of the year. Together you are so much stronger than alone.
“You get support from your team-mates and you also support your team-mates. It’s just how it goes. And if every team member gives even one per cent more effort and it’s 100 people, that’s another 100 per cent, so it makes a difference.”