Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Bottas: “To whom it may concern…” message was aimed at social media critics

2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas explained why he repeated a familiar post-race radio message at critics of his after the Russian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver declared “to whom it may concern – fuck you” on his radio after winning the race at Sochi Autodrom today. He made a similar comment after winning the Australian Grand Prix last year.

Speaking after the race, Bottas said he made the remarks in response to criticism he has received on social media, some of which he has replied to personally in recent days.

“Honestly I don’t get the people who have the need to criticise people,” said Bottas. “There’s been people telling me that I should not bother, I should give up. But you know how I am, I will never do that.

“So I just wanted to again send my best wishes to them. It just came out.”

Bottas said the criticism has not dented his confidence. “When I come to every every race weekend, I’m confident and I believe I can do it. And that’s how I’m always going to be.

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“You have to have that mindset. And I’m glad, like, even yesterday was tough, I didn’t give up, I looked at the positives and I knew there will be opportunities and things came to me today. So I hope I can encourage people not to give up because that’s the biggest mistake you can do in your life.”

He admitted it was a relief to score his first victory since the season-opening race in Austria four months ago.

“It’s been a while, but it’s been so close many times,” said Bottas. “I feel my race pace especially this season has been quite a bit better than any season before. So I can’t say it’s been frustrating but it’s been a bit annoying that it’s been close, but nearly there.”

His path to victory was aided by his team mate Lewis Hamilton collecting two penalties for infringements with his practice starts.

“Things definitely did go my way today,” said Bottas. “As I’ve been saying that things can go against you forever.

“So it’s definitely really satisfying today to get the win. It felt like it was well-earned.

“Obviously I consider myself lucky as well with Lewis’s penalty. But otherwise it was a strong race and I really feel that it can give me a good confidence boost and good momentum for the next races.”

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2020 Russian Grand Prix

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41 comments on “Bottas: “To whom it may concern…” message was aimed at social media critics”

  1. Good for him and on towards next one.

    1. +1 he needed that

  2. It would have been better if this race was won on pace rather than Lewis getting penalised. Lets see how he bounces back in the WDC. If he manages to get close to or beat Lewis for the championship, only then this message will be spot on.

    1. I think everything you needed to say about that dual between Lewis and Bottas, was said at turn 2 of that opening lap. The cars behind Lewis should have had the advantage of the slipstream. Lewis simply out drove them.

    2. I agree. Nothing against Bottas,but it was a shame that a genuine interesting battle between the two Mercedes on differing strategies (for once) was robbed from us with these penalties.

  3. Social media can be quite cancerous in the modern world sometimes.

    I often wonder if we’d all be better off without it.

    1. No need to wonder – I think the only group of people who will genuinely say the world is a better place with social media are the “influencers” who are making money from it.

    2. Montréalais (@)
      27th September 2020, 18:31

      It’s a symptom of the uncivil divisive dialogue of the 2000s.

    3. We would all be better off without it.

      Having said that, a driver like Bottas shouldn’t concern himself with haters on social media in the first place

  4. Social media critics? Sorry, but if you compared it to Lewis, social media critics for Bottas is virtually non existent.

    1. Sure but you could also make the point that Bottas’ critisism is targeted at his driving skills, whereas Lewis’ critisism is mostly about his character. Not saying that’s right either, mind you.

    2. @ruliemaulana While that might be true, Lewis also has more fans on social media than any other driver, by a huge margin. So his criticisms are at least balanced out by a huge outpouring of support. Bottas probably has a much higher percentage of negativity thrown his way.

  5. Criticism can go far into disgusting on twitter, but I don’t think it’s wrong to criticize a guy that drives the best car on the grid by far, but was behind Verstappen in the championship just 3 races ago.

  6. WTG Valtteri…you da man… :-)

  7. Get in there Valtteri

    1. Bottas should be just quiet and enjoy the victory, which he inherited because of Lewis penalty, and understand that he is not a F1 World Champion material. He is just an INFERIOR driver than Lewis.

      1. @mauromori he won on merit. Knew the rulebook (not like lewis) and drove brilliantly.
        I understand a blind lewis fan is a bit disappointed but Bottas just did great.

      2. Hamilton in the lead when he received his 10 seconds penaties, therefore with already a time advantage on Bottas, but finished more than 22 seconds behind, and behind Verstappen as well.

  8. Should just do what everyone else does… ignore them.

    Social media has some good points but it’s probably the worst thing the 21st century has spawned (to date). Unless he actually enjoys stupidity, there’s no reason for an established F1 driver to do anything other than give his password to a social media manager and forget about it.

    1. I agree that social media is a cancer on modern society. It’s full of hate and bullying, lies and vanity.

      In summary, social media is full of c#nts! :-)

  9. I’m with you Valterri. Ignore the near do wells.

    1. Montréalais (@)
      27th September 2020, 18:33


  10. @fer-no65 Yeah, the message game of a bit odd as it did just after winning a race where the other contender effectively defaulted.

    Having said that, Bottas can’t help that and might well have won the race even without that on merit and pace. Hamilton being 10s behind Verstappen on track certainly suggest that would have been the fight HAM would have, not with Bottas who was 5s, or more, up the track. Not not like we can say Bottas drove any differently for it, nor that his race result would have been anything else, even if then it would have been less than 11 points net gain in the WDC he got today.

    Not going to judge whether the idea of the message is smart of not, social media being what it is, but I can see how he wanted to get that out there.

    With the talk of Schumacher this week in my mind, would be fun to have Bottas wielding porridge and a big laminated printout of the track-guide/race directors notes for himself and his team at next race (2016 Rosberg would approve, I think, having learned MS) just to rub a bit, as clearly it got to his competitor today.

  11. If Lewis had said that we’d never hear the end of it! “foul mouth tirade” “shocking outburst” etc

  12. The only way Bottas would ever win the championship is if Hamilton has a 10 second penalty every race.

    1. He is on his way then ;)

  13. It’s comments like these that prove why Bottas will never be an actual contender for a championship.

    I’m not condoning it, but it’s 2020, if you’re famous at all for anything, p

  14. It’s comments like these that prove why Bottas will never be an actual contender for a championship.

    I’m not condoning it, but it’s 2020, if you’re famous at all for anything, people will be online telling you how much you suck and that you should die. You have to be able to ignore it to find success.

    1. Social media is full of hateful, negative comments … what does that say about human nature?

    2. But lets be honest here half the negative comments about Bottas are made to lessen Hamiltons achievements. Put Max in the car and if Ham came out on top after a dozen races the same people would be putting Max down.

  15. Seems like I should stop comparing him to Barrichello and Irvine…

  16. Yet Botas has done little to silence the people criticizing him. Sure, he’s really a great wingman, but he’s expected to compete with Lewis and he has failed to be a genuine pretender for the title. Heck, he even failed to finish second during his first 2 year in Merc.

    1. He placed 3rd and 5th in the championship in his first two years at Mercedes (2017 and 2018), but Bottas had 3 wins and 13 podiums in 2017, which is pretty good for coming into a team designed around Hamilton for the previous 4 years (10 if you count his Mercedes engine connection at McLaren.) I rate him higher than Nico, and he has been 2nd in the championship for the last two years. Let’s not write him off yet!

  17. This was not the race to “hit back” at critics. Half a second back in qualifying. Won a race that Hamilton had a 10sec penalty in. Still 44 pts behind. Should probably take a page from Kimi’s PR talking points until he gets a fair bit closer.

  18. Er, shall we just wait a bit Bottas to say this for when you to stick an overtake on Lewis (you’ll need to avoid those bee’s too) and not have him 35 seconds behind after a pit stop?

    Also, while I’m OK with keeping a lid on the swearing in the comments, can we have some equilibrium and edit it on articles as well? What’s good for the goose and all that.

  19. I understand Bottas’ frustration with the criticism he’s been getting but I think it would’ve been better if he kept it humble and professional. Easier said than done but would’ve been better for him.

    It’s nice to see a bit of emotions and personality showing through but he’s asking for more pressure to he put on himself with those kind of messages. If Hamilton has a clean weekend next time out and he wins once more then those same critics will only come back at Bottas again, if not harder than before.

    I hope he does use it to kick on for the rest of the season but I do think Lewis has a bit too much for him and is en route to a 7th title.

  20. So Bottas tells people literally to f… Off and he is hailed as great and worthy etc. Lewis is asking for equality between humanity and he is lambasted. Interesting…

    1. All I heard out of Lewis after the race was whinging and denying responsibility for his legitimate penalty. That is why he is being lambasted today.

  21. It was very cringe and does him no favors. This is the second time too which shows he’s really full of anger, meaning his being a wingman at Mercedes has really been eating away at him.

    I expect his last races at Mercedes to be full of FU driving. The sad part is that should he start with elbows out too soon, he will be out on his ear like a naughty pet and he knows it which must make it doubly frustrating.

  22. Don’t feed the trolls Valtteri!

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