Alrighty … I’ve not done one of these before, but this one is for anyone who has ever been at a crossroads with a big decision to make….
After the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July, I flew to Los Angeles. I wanted to get away. I needed space. I needed a nine-hour flight, free of WiFi and distractions. I needed to make a decision.
After 10 years with Red Bull, the team had drawn up a new F1 contract offer for me. I’ve spent my whole professional racing career with Red Bull, but Renault had also offered me a deal. They both wanted me to drive for them, and they both wanted an answer soon.
Looking back now, the decision about my future in F1 had been all-consuming for some time, and it took its toll on me more than I had realized. It sounds a bit dramatic, but this was one of the biggest decisions of my life. Just as big as deciding to leave my friends and family as a teenager and go to Europe to pursue my dream of becoming an F1 driver.
I know in terms of life decisions, people have to make far harder ones, but to me, this decision would be life changing. And I have worked damn hard to get to where I am today.
So I got on a plane. And about halfway through the flight, some 40,000 feet above the east coast of the United States, I turned off the movie I was watching, grabbed a glass of wine and had a real good think about my future.
I closed my eyes and just listened to the hum of the engines. I always hear people talk about “a moment of clarity,” so I was like, Alright, clarity, where ya at?
And then, I sort of just thought about it all. Like, seriously, everything.
Wolff fears Bottas has been ‘damaged mentally’ by 2018 F1 season
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says he is worried a disappointing 2018 campaign has taken its toll on Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says he is worried a frustrating 2018 campaign has taken its toll on Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas, who was forced to play a supporting role to teammate Lewis Hamilton’s championship bid after falling out of title contention himself following a difficult start to the year, finished a distant fifth place for the fourth successive race in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Finn ultimately slipped to fifth in the drivers’ standings and became the first Mercedes driver since Michael Schumacher in 2012 to fail to win a race during a season, while Hamilton registered his 11th victory of the campaign at Yas Marina.
Valtteri is evidently a confidence driver and when he's down, he battles to get back up from it. However, how different his season could've been. He was cruelly denied a lap from the end at Baku and then was looking the class of the field in Austria until a mechanical issue denied him victory. Throw in having to move out of the way in Russia (although one could argue his season was over by then) and he has definitely been on the receiving end of some poor luck.
Ferrari done it to Massa. Sure he lost something after he was hurt in Hungary, but the continued #2 demands of him over the next 4-years ensured he was never going to find his mojo. He goes to Williams and starts showing flashes of his old self and seemed a lot more confident.