Valtteri Bottas shared about a difficult period during his early F1 days
Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he needed a psychologist's help early in his F1 career. He struggled with an undiagnosed eating disorder and was also deeply affected by the death of his friend and fellow driver Jules Bianchi.
Bianchi, unfortunately, passed away after sustaining significant injuries at the 2014 Japanese GP, shocking the entire F1 community. His death came at a terrible time for Bottas, who was struggling with an eating disorder to try and be lean enough for the sport.
The Finn's mental state meant that he needed to see a psychologist to process these negative thoughts, who diagnosed him to be 'robot-like' during this period.
Speaking to Finnish journalist Maria Veitola, Valtteri Bottas said:
"It wasn't quite healthy now. I wanted to be the best, and I thought I should do it. If the team says I have to weigh 68 pounds and I naturally weigh 73 pounds, then you do everything you can to get it."
"I needed a psychologist to help me recover, whose first assessment of me was that I am almost like a robot who only wants to reach his goal and has no emotions at all. It was startling. It's true that back then I didn't have any life other than F1."
Valtteri Bottas critical of FIA's political ban
Former Mercedes star Valtteri Bottas is critical of the FIA's political ban, claiming that it is important for drivers to be able to speak out about political issues. The Finn mentioned Sebastian Vettel and other drivers who use F1 as a platform to spread positivity while stating that he dislikes how the FIA is curtailing drivers' freedom of speech through this new rule.
He said (as per expressen.se):
"Personally, I don't like politics. I like to do what I love, which is racing, but at the same time, politics is part of today's society. I think Formula 1 has done a good job of bringing attention to some of these types of issues and many drivers have raised their voices, including Sebastian."
The 33-year-old added:
"I don't understand why they want to control us. I think we should have the right to talk about what we want. That's how I see it, but we'll see what happens."
Valtteri Bottas' former teammate Lewis Hamilton is one of the most outspoken drivers in the history of the sport. He has constantly used his and the sport's massive platform to speak about racism, gender inequality, and other global issues.