Bottas about mental problems that he was able to overcome
He openly spoke about the psychological difficulties that he had to overcome in the early stages of his career…
It is not surprising that Bottas is in the spotlight of the Finnish press and TV, because motorsport is very popular in his country - Finland, and fans want to know the driver better.
Recently, he openly spoke about the psychological difficulties that he had to overcome in the early stages of his career in F1, when he was in Williams. He made his World Championship debut in 2013, having won the title in the GP3 series two years earlier, after which he became a test driver and reserve driver of the Grove team in 2012.
Valtteri Bottas: "I trained until I felt painful, and it affected my physical and psychological condition, I developed a kind of addiction, and the situation was getting out of control.
Officially, I was not diagnosed with an eating disorder, but it is clear that there were such problems.
I ate almost nothing but steamed broccoli to lose weight, and this did not affect my health in the best way. But I wanted to be the best and I thought that for the sake of it I had to act that way. If the team said that I should weigh 68 kg, although my natural weight is 73 kg, it means that they were ready to achieve this in any way.
As a result, I needed the help of a psychologist to recover, and his first conclusions were as follows: I almost turned into an insensitive robot who wants only one thing – to achieve his goal. It struck me, but at that time in my life there really was nothing but Formula 1”.
Bottas had to resort to psychological help later, in 2021, when his cooperation with Mercedes was coming to an end, and he was not sure if he would be able to continue his career in F1 at all:
Valtteri Bottas: "That season was not easy, because then the question of my future was being decided – I did not know which team I would play for. I had to overcome myself to turn to outside help.
It happens when you think you're a cool guy who doesn't need any help, who thinks he can handle everything by himself – just look at yourself in the mirror. But a professional in the field of psychology knows what questions to ask, and it helps to be liberated.
But I am not the only driver who periodically faces similar difficulties. People in our profession are characterized by the desire to become better than others, and it is sometimes difficult for us to accept the real state of things. It was only in 2021 that I was able to come to terms with the fact that Lewis Hamilton is better than me as a driver.
I've always tried to find a way to beat him and become a world champion. After five years at Mercedes, I was mentally exhausted. I wanted to win right away, but since it didn't happen, it was hard to accept it”.
Now that Valtteri is driving for Alfa Romeo, where he actually became the leader of the team, he is working much calmer.