F1 ace Valtteri Bottas reveals ‘eating disorder’ pain and turning to psychologist after shock death of pal Jules Bianchi | The Sun
VALTTERI BOTTAS has opened up on an "eating disorder" earlier in his career and how he sought help after the death of Jules Bianchi.
The Finn – who was Lewis Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes for five years – is currently enjoying Formula One's off-season ahead of the sport's return next month.
Bottas is looking forward to his second season at Alfa Romeo with the Swiss-based team set to unveil the car's new design tomorrow.
Ahead of its unveiling, the 33-year-old revealed struggles he had in his debut season at Williams in 2013.
The star said the pressures of F1 left him with a diet of steamed broccoli that "wasn't very healthy" as he tried to lose weight under instructions from the team.
He told Finnish journalist Maria Veitola: "I trained myself to pain, physically and mentally.
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"No eating disorder was officially diagnosed, but it was definitely there. It wasn't very healthy. I wanted to be the best, and I thought I had to do that.
"If the team says that I have to weigh 68 kilos and I naturally weigh 73 kilos, then they will do everything for that."
The tragic death of his friend Bianchi, who died after injuries sustained by a crash in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, left Bottas seeking a psychologist.
Bottas said the expert's assessment was that the star acted "almost like a robot" due to his single-minded obsession with reaching his goals in motorsport.
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He said the analysis "startled" him.
The driver would also speak to psychologist again in the 2021 season as speculation mounted that he would be replaced at Mercedes by George Russell, which is what eventually happened.
He said: "It was a big threshold to ask for outside help. That's what you think when you're such a tough guy that you don't need help, that I can take care of things by looking in the mirror.
"But a professional knows how to ask the right questions and open a lot of locks. I'm not the only one there who sometimes has a hard time."
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