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Wolff doubts Bottas wanted to retire after team orders

Mercedes AMG Petronas drivers Valtteri Bottas (L) of Finland, second-placed, and Lewis Hamilton (L-R) of the United Kingdom, first-placed, attend the 2018 Formula One Russian Grand Prix awarding ceremony at the Sochi Autodrom racing circuit. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)

Mercedes F1 Team Principal Toto Wolff doubts Valtteri Bottas wanted to retire after the team used team orders at the 2018 Russian Grand Prix.

Bottas was featured in the latest season of Drive to Survive on Netflix, where he stated he wanted to retire from the sport after the team had used team orders at the 2018 Russian Grand Prix.

“That was tough, tough to accept,” he said. “I was pretty angry, I was thinking, why do I do this?

“I was even thinking of quitting, of giving up. Straight after the race, I said I would not do it again.”

Despite what Bottas said, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff doubts the Finn really wanted to retire from the sport after the incident.

“No, he was very downhearted, of course, I understand that – but I don’t think he was close to retirement,” Wolff said.

“Because he’s too much of a competitor for that. But I can imagine, in the heat of the situation, after the race, you don’t understand the world.”

Reflecting on the Russian Grand Prix team strategy, Wolff stated that it was a “disastrous situation” as they tried to secure their team result in the middle of the pressure from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

“I think it was necessary because it was all on the line with Sebastian,” he said. “Valtteri held up the train, with Lewis squeezing in between.

“The way I hated that, I can imagine how bad that must have been for him, much worse. Valtteri is not Nico [Rosberg], he also works quite differently. He certainly has the will inside him to get close to Lewis and beat him, but in his own way, which is different.

“It’s all about your own performance, your own expectations, which is different from, for example, unloading every political weapon. But those were also Nico’s strengths. You have to admit that.”

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