Bottas recalls thoughts of quitting F1 after Sochi 2018 team order

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Valtteri Bottas has revealed he thought of quitting Formula 1 after losing victory at the 2018 Russian Grand Prix due to team orders.

While leading, the Finn was asked to pull aside by Mercedes to help Lewis Hamilton fend off Sebastian Vettel, a moment that began the infamous "Valtteri, it's James" quote.

A clearly unhappy Bottas had to be consoled after the race, but his disappointment went much beyond the podium and post-race interviews. 

"Sochi 2018, that was a pretty tough race," he recalled in an episode of Netflix's F1 series Drive to Survive. "Tough to accept. I was pretty angry.

"Honestly I was thinking ‘Why do I do this?’. I was thinking of quitting, of giving up. Straight after the race, I said I would not do it again."

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Bottas has had to deal with suggestions of merely being Hamilton's 'wingman' pretty much throughout his time at Mercedes.

And over the past few years, more questions over whether he can legitimately challenge the seven-time world champion have been raised.

"If your teammate wins and you are second, you feel like you lose," he said. "I know I’ve been second in the past, but I want to prove I’m not just a number two."