F1: Valtteri Bottas reveals he nearly quit the sport after 2018 battle with Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas in Miami

Valtteri Bottas has revealed he was thinking of quitting Formula 1 for good after falling short in the 2018 world championship title race to Lewis Hamilton.

Valtteri seems in a really positive place at the moment with him joining Alfa Romeo for 2022 and quickly settling in there, with plenty of points finishes recorded along the way.

Indeed, he’s said in time that Alfa might even become a team that can challenge for race victories in F1, but things could have been so different for him had he decided to leave the sport at the end of 2018.

That year was his second at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton and the Finn just could not get to the same level as the Briton, with him eventually finishing fifth in the standings behind the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Indeed, on the back of that, Bottas has revealed that he felt like stopping completely:

“At the end of 2018 I almost stopped. It was so close,” Bottas said to Motorsport Magazine’s ‘My Big Break’ podcast.

“Just because of the fact I couldn’t understand and take in the fact I couldn’t beat Lewis in those two years. I put so much pressure on myself. Towards the end of ’18, especially when I started to have the support role, I really couldn’t take it, I really struggled. It was not fun.

Valtteri Bottas
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 27: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Alfa Romeo F1 talks to the media in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 27, 2022 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

“The human mind is strange in a way, sometimes you go into dark places and you lose the joy on things. I lost the joy of F1 and racing in F1.

“I was almost angry to F1, it’s weird. I just needed some time off. Think things in a big picture and realised it’s a pretty cool sport and I still have great opportunities ahead of me.”

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