Valtteri Bottas confesses that Lewis Hamilton’s world 2021 drivers championship loss cost him a lot of money.
Former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has claimed that he lost a lot of money after his teammate Lewis Hamilton lost the championship title to Max Verstappen.
This comes after the 2021 Formula 1 season came to an end at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month. However, the final race was marred with a lot of controversy following the late safety car session that saw Max Verstappen take the lead on the final lap from Lewis Hamilton who had dominated the race.
With the Race Director, Michael Masi being held accountable for the safety car directives, Mercedes was dealt a huge blow after Hamilton lost the drivers title despite the team winning the constructors title.
Hamilton’s championship loss rippled across the Mercedes bonus system with the bonus cash rewards payable for all title victories reducing drastically for Valtteri Bottas.
“You are right,” the Finn smiled when asked about lost team bonuses that are otherwise payable by the Mercedes team for all title victories.
“It was quite a final lap,” Bottas added, referring to the way Red Bull’s Max Verstappen benefitted from the race director’s controversial safety car call in Abu Dhabi.
“Certain bonuses are tied to certain achievements,” he confirmed, although he declined to reveal further details of the Mercedes bonus system.
“Luckily, I hadn’t gotten anything in advance,” Bottas, who is switching to Alfa Romeo for 2022 and beyond, is quoted by Oksari Saari and the Iltalehti newspaper.
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.”
Despite the loss of bonus for many Mercedes employees, Bottas says he has made enough money in his Formula 1 career so far and he is not concerned.
“I don’t really measure it like that but at some point, a moment came when there was no need to look at the bank balance anymore,” he admits.
“Money is of course a big thing in Formula 1, but I remember where I come from and I have done quite well because of that.”
At his recent farewell party, Mercedes even presented Bottas with the car he first drove for the team in 2017 – the W08.
“It was a big surprise and a nice gift,” he said, before laughing. “Unfortunately I have nowhere to put it.
“I was amazed when I saw what they arranged for me – fireworks and music. I realised that they appreciate what I did with the team.”
The Finn also said being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes is a tougher job than most would imagine.
“I remember Lewis and Nico (Rosberg) fighting so hard with each other and it even got a little political,” Bottas explained.
“But when I came to Mercedes, I wondered why Nico would stop like that. But now I can identify with him. I can say from experience that it’s not easy.”