Valtteri Bottas slams critics after German GP team orders

AUTO-F1-PRIX-GER

He may be the epitome of cool, calm and collected but after a disappointing and frustrating season to date, some whispers are beginning to emerge that Valtteri Bottas lacks a little bit of the devil that is required for success in the cutthroat world of Formula 1.

The Finnish hero has guided his Mercedes to five second-place finishes but his failure to record any victories in 11 attempts have led some to question if he has the ruthlessness needed to be a top level F1 driver.

Last weekend's Hockenheim GP was further grist to the mill for his critics as he obediently complied with team orders and eased off in his pursuit of teammate Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages for fear of endangering a 1-2 finish for the team.

Despite being on fresher tyres and looking capable of overtaking the world champion, Bottas once again put the team ahead of personal ambition.

While it is certainly admirable to be a team player, there is a growing feeling within the sport that the 28-year-old is beginning to prove the old adage that nice guys never win.

The Finn, however, was swift to refute these accusations in the build-up to this weekend's hotly anticipated Hungarian GP at the famous Hungaroring circuit.

“I do what is the best for me. I am hungry for wins, and we will find out if I am [good] enough for a world championship one day,” he told The Guardian.

“Everyone is different; I have always been like this.

F1 Grand Prix of Germany

“It is who I am. I can be nice – I don’t need to be rude for no reason. I know when I am in the car I am always doing my best.”

Bottas did admit the team's decision did affect him slightly more than he let on last week.

F1 Grand Prix of Germany

“I felt very empty,” he added. “It was just heartbreaking, I felt like I had a good race – I felt really sad, empty.”

For a man once lauded by the legendary Sir Frank Williams as “simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across”, it can be argued that Bottas' career has been something of a disappointment but he will certainly be aiming to quieten his doubters and take the chequered flag in front of his legions of travelling Finnish fans in Hungary this weekend.

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