Valtteri Bottas is not worried about a backlash from fans over his incidents with Kimi Raikkonen, following two collisions between Formula 1’s Finns in the last three grands prix.
The two Finns collided in Mexico after Bottas had attacked the Ferrari driver around the outside, with Raikkonen retiring instantly and Bottas going on to finish third for Williams. It followed a collision in Russia when the pair were fighting over third place, with Bottas retiring as a result on that occasion and Raikkonen finishing fifth before being handed a time penalty by the stewards and dropping to eighth.
When told that some fans in Finland were blaming him for both incidents, Bottas said: “Obviously it is Kimi bias in Finland because he is a world champion and he has loads more fans. But that is fine for me, that’s how it is. I haven’t checked any comments or news.
“I know there can be a lot of s**t. I also have a lot of support and I’m thankful for that.”
Bottas said after Mexico he saw no need for talks with Raikkonen following their collisions and he confirmed the pair have not spoken since.
“I’m OK with the situation,” he said. “We haven’t spoken since, but I don’t think there is any need.”
When asked if he got on with Raikkonen, Bottas replied: “Yeah. We haven’t spoken lately but there has been no problems.”
Bottas said it would “depend on the situation” whether he would change his approach when racing Raikkonen in the future.
“Every situation is unique,” he added. Now we are getting towards the end of the season, I’m really keen to fight for every situation for now.”
Speaking in Brazil about the incident, Raikkonen said: “It was just unfortunate. I’m sure in the long run it will sort itself out and we will be fine.”
Bottas is currently three points ahead of Raikkonen in the battle for fourth in the drivers’ standings and insisted it is important for him to retain that position.
“For me, the best possible result in drivers is fourth and I’m really keen to secure that,” said Bottas. “I would really like to get the maximum possible.
“Every position is important for me, I know many people may say it doesn’t matter if you’re fighting for fifth or sixth but I don’t look at it like that. I want to achieve every single position. I think that’s the way to go.”
Raikkonen, in contrast, said he was not so bothered about fighting for lower positions in the standings.
“It doesn’t change my life,” he said. “Obviously, I try to achieve the best result, but when we’re talking fourth and fifth places in championships, the first place counts, the rest…
“OK, it’s nice to be as high up as possible but nobody remembers if you finished fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh.”