The 2020 F1 season saw Lewis Hamilton effortlessly take home the Drivers’ title. While both Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen had the role of playing challengers to the Briton, they ultimately fell short in their pursuit of the championship.
Bottas, in particular, had similar machinery at Mercedes, capable of challenging Hamilton. However, following that first win in Austria, a string of podiums and midfield finishes saw him lose steam in the title fight.
He has earned quite a bit of criticism for his driving and inability to keep title fights alive. Recently, the Finn driver opened up on how he deals with the online negativity and revealed his method of channelizing that into motivation.
Valtteri Bottas has learned to handle criticism and turn it into motivation
Speaking in an interview, Bottas stated, “It was important because my first win this year was at the first race and then it was actually a few months without wins. So it was really important to get it because you need those kind of things to remind yourself that you can do it.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot about myself in Formula 1, how to handle that [online criticism] and how to turn that into motivation and an extra power source.”
His fabulous win at Sochi demonstrated what he was capable of on his finest of days. The idea then is to improve on those best days and reproduce them on a much more consistent basis.
“I try to avoid it because there’s always going to be criticism, no matter whether you’re doing well or if you’re doing bad; that’s how it goes unfortunately. But the trick is to try and use that as a benefit,” concluded Bottas in response to the subject.
Bottas scored a couple of victories in 2020 and will aim for more this season
Wins at Austria and Sochi stimulated confidence that Bottas could possibly finally challenge Hamilton for the title. However, his own mistakes, combined with Hamilton’s near-flawless brilliance, paved the way for the latter’s championship win.
2021 is once again a fresh start for Bottas, and with possibly the joint-strongest car on the grid, he will need to further push Hamilton on the track. Whilst he will continue to channel the criticism leveled against him into motivation, it is time for him to showcase displays that prove his genuineness as a title contender.