Apr.2 (GMM) Well-known racing driver Toni Vilander has criticised his fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas.
Since losing his Mercedes seat at the end of 2021, 33-year-old Bottas has seemed much more relaxed.
He even strolled into the Melbourne paddock this weekend with a local ‘mullet’ hairstyle, Australian style ‘flip flops’ and a self-styled ‘tank top’.
He also enjoys a laid back lifestyle away from the paddock with his girlfriend Tiffany Cromwell and together they have invested in their own gin brand.
“A few years ago I started investing in different things so that I would have other passions than F1,” Bottas told Ilta Sanomat newspaper.
“As a rookie, I wouldn’t have come to the circuit in flip flops, but now I don’t take myself so seriously. I am what I am and others will have to get used to it.”
However, 2023 has not started well at all for Bottas as he languishes deep in the second half of the grid at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo.
Apart from Sergio Perez, who beached his Red Bull in the gravel in Q1, Bottas is dead last on the Melbourne grid.
“The car understeered quite a lot. That’s really the only feeling,” Bottas told Viaplay afterwards.
“It’s hard to say what caused it. Did the others just find more speed? We’ve got to look into it.”
According to former Le Mans class winner Vilander, however, Bottas simply doesn’t seem “hungry” for success anymore.
“I’d rather see him hungry,” he said. “A bit of a fist-on-the-table attitude.
“I wish Valtteri 3.0 or 4.0 was more aggressive. You just can’t be satisfied with that. It’s a big disappointment.”
Vilander worries that Bottas’ happy off-track lifestyle is hurting him on the track.
“Yes, I think there should be a lot more of that hunger. He should be beating his teammate every single time at least.”