Valtteri Bottas has told George Russell to not get too bogged down in the short-term and not be too harsh on himself as he joins Mercedes in 2022, with the Finn leaving the Silver Arrows for Alfa Romeo at the end of the current season.
Speculation over the summer was rife that Russell would be succeeding Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate for next season and that has come to pass with an all-British line-up now set to be at the wheel for the Silver Arrows next year.
Bottas, meanwhile, departs the team after several years and is looking forward to a new challenge with Alfa, who will be aiming to use the 2022 regulation changes as a chance to climb up the field.
Before that, though, Bottas took time to chat to Tom Clarkson on the Beyond the Grid podcast ahead of the final four races of the current campaign, and, among other topics, sent some brief but good advice to Russell ahead of joining Mercedes, based on what he had learned during his own time with the team.
“Give yourself a bit of leeway, don’t think too short-term,” Bottas said:
“There’s always so much to learn and take things step by step.
“He’s a talented driver and he’s going to have a great team to support him and he’s alongside Lewis who he’ll be able to learn from so I don’t think I need to give him too much advice.
“Maybe the mistake I made was I was a little too harsh on myself in the beginning but I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Bottas imparted such advice after reflecting on his own struggles he has had at times with Merc, including feeling under pressure from only ever having one-year contracts and feeling as though he needed to achieve everything as soon as possible rather than build himself into the team.
As Bottas says, Russell is a good driver in his own right and he’ll be able to take the challenge on in his own way but it’s good to see the Finn offer up a few words anyway as the revolving door at the Silver Arrows prepares to whir into action.