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Bottas reveals rigorous F1 training led to eating disorder

Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he suffered from an undiagnosed eating disorder when he started racing in Formula 1 in 2013.

The 2023 season will mark 10 years in Formula 1 for Valtteri Bottas, who made his debut with Williams at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. After winning the GP3 title in 2011, the Finn quickly established himself on the F1 grid as one of the latest exciting prospects. Bottas has spoken candidly in an interview with Maria Veitola about his debut season, and how his rigorous training regime led to him suffering from an undiagnosed eating disorder. "I trained myself to pain physically and mentally. It got out of hand, and it became an addiction. No eating disorder was officially diagnosed, but it was definitely there," Bottas explained. "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 68kg and I naturally weigh 73kg, then they will do everything for that."

Bottas sought psychiatric help

Bottas went to see a therapist to help with his recovery, where he realised that his life was focused too much on F1. Around the same time his former teammate in Formula 3, Jules Bianchi, had his tragic accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. The Frenchman would later succumb to his injuries the following year. "I needed a psychologist to help me recover, whose first assessment of me was that I'm almost like a robot who only wants to reach his goal and has no feelings at all," Bottas said. "It startled me. It's true that at that time I had no other life than F1." The Finnish driver also went to see a therapist after making the switch from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo, believing that it would help with the transition. "Last season was more difficult again, when my future was on the line and I didn't know which team I would drive for," Bottas continued. "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."

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