Bottas opens up on new ‘addiction’ outside F1


Valtteri Bottas’ move to the Stake F1 team has allowed the Finn to show a new side to his character and develop an “addiction” away from Formula 1.

While the 10-time grand prix winner no doubt wants to return to the heights of success he enjoyed at Mercedes, Bottas is in a much more relaxed environment.

Stake is currently not vying for World Championships, as was the case at Mercedes when Bottas partnered Lewis Hamilton from 2017 to 2021.

Since moving to his new team in 2022, Bottas has shown a more personal side, whether it be acting in an Uber advertisement or selling his own nude calendar.

Bottas explained exclusively to RacingNews365 that it is crucial for him amid a record-breaking 24-race calendar.

“For a longer career, I think it’s more sustainable if you can allow yourself to freestyle a little bit, listen to yourself – ‘what do you want to do?’,” Bottas said.

“In this sport, there are always lots of days with many schedules and things that you have to do, whether it’s by the team or the sport, but that’s OK.

“But then on the off time, it’s nice to have that kind of freedom and decide yourself what to do. For me, that’s more sustainable in the long term.

“I was definitely very strict on myself, especially in the early years at Mercedes and didn’t allow myself to do too much. That’s quite normal when you’re still relatively new to the sport, all you do 24/7 is F1.

“But at some point, we realised ‘OK, sometimes you need a balancing factor to get your energy levels back’.”

Disconnect

With drivers having such a demanding schedule in the modern era of F1, Bottas offered advice for young drivers who are being thrown into facing commitments.

“It’s easier to say than do things but I think every driver is different, every individual is different,” he said.

“But for me, the main thing is to find something that you can disconnect from the sport, that you can actually focus on something else and take your mind off [F1] – even for a day or two.

“That’s when I feel when I come back, I’m really keen to go and happy to sit hours and hours with engineers.”

Bottas has also taken a dive into competitive cycling, which he describes as an addiction.

“Obviously F1 is the number one thing and it’s just another side thing that is really refreshing mentally [and] physically keeping me a fit,” Bottas asserted.

“But it’s a small addiction to me. I really liked doing these events and [setting] mini side targets along the way.

“So I do enjoy it and also I like to challenge myself. One thing I like about cycling is that everyone on the field is pretty much on similar level of bike.”


© XPBimages

Challenge

An added appeal of cycling competitions for Bottas is the potential to line up against all sorts of people from around the world.

“It’s another rare sport that you can be on the starting line next to anyone – you can be the fastest cyclist in the world or you can be an F1 driver.

“So you can really measure yourself against all kinds of humans, and everyone is equal in that way, which is really cool.”

But a push to the big cycling leagues is not on the card for Bottas: “Long term, I think I’ve missed the bus.

“I should have started way before and the level is high, but there are always these amateur events and fun events that I can go there [to] challenge and measure myself to the current best riders.”

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