Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he considered quitting Mercedes after enduring a difficult 2018 Formula 1 season with the team.
While teammate Lewis Hamilton drove to a fifth Formula 1 world title, Bottas finished fifth in the drivers’ championship without claiming a race victory.
The Finn was notoriously asked to move out of the way for Hamilton to claim victory at the Russian Grand Prix after taking pole and leading from the front, while a puncture cost him a likely win in Baku at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Looking back on the season, Bottas revealed that the year had a large mental toll on him and it took him time to recover a refocus ahead of the 2019 campaign.
“It started with some setbacks, then it kind of got even worse towards the end of the year,” said Bottas during the GP Racing interview. “I remember the end of the year being really tough to deal with.
“Obviously, week after week when things don’t go right and you get beaten, you have a bit of bad luck as well, and not having a single race win the whole season.
“I could see it was really affecting me, that I wasn’t driving at my best anymore. And, you know, confidence goes down, enjoyment of the sport disappears.
“I managed to survive until the end. I still tried to give it all I had every weekend, but once the season was over I was really tired.
“Physically, yes, but mentally it was tough. All the way until early January I was thinking ‘should I call the team and say okay, that’s me, job done’.”
“But then it was like a switch I found. Basically, f**k it, I’m not gonna give up. I had to see the big picture, that if I quit now I would regret it all my life.”