It is debatable whether Valtteri Bottas‘ second season is as good or better than his first.
Just three points ahead of Max Verstappen in the driver standings, the Finn, who has finished fifth in the last three races, has yet to win a race this year, while in 2017 he won three.
Of course, Russia was in the bag, until he got the call and had to move aside for teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Retained for a third season at Mercedes – where Hamilton insists he is the best teammate he’s ever had – the Finn is looking to end the season with a win, and as he heads to Abu Dhabi – scene of his third victory of his debut season with the German team – Toto Wolff is also hoping to see his driver on the top step of the podium on Sunday evening.
“Our Silver Arrow has won ten races so far this season and we all want to add one more to that score,” says the Austrian, ” especially Valtteri, who has lost out on wins this season through bad luck and team orders.
“We have taken four wins in a row at Yas Marina, although it’s a track with a lot of slow and medium speed corners. We’ve made some good steps forward when it comes to our car’s performance on similar tracks, so we’re confident that we can perform strongly in Abu Dhabi as well, and end this incredible 2018 season on a high.
“The celebrations in Brixworth and Brackley last week were a very humbling experience,” he admits. “Claiming the fifth consecutive double championship – an experience that only very few people in the sport have had before – felt amazing and we all cherished that moment. At the same time, everyone is extremely keen to continue to raise the bar together and be even stronger in 2019.
“For now, we have one race to go in 2018 and we want to put on a great show for the fans who supported us through the season, be it at the track, in front of their TV or on social media. The championship pressure is off, so we can look at this as one race where we can really go for broke.”