Valtteri Bottas admits he has “mixed feelings” in the aftermath of his win at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, as Lewis Hamilton claimed enough points to defeat him to the drivers’ championship.
Hamilton went into the race knowing that a finish of eighth or higher would see him secure the title. He eventually finished second, with team-mate Bottas claiming the flag, but it gave him enough points for his sixth championship.
The Finn says he is disappointed at the title loss, but his confidence is growing ahead of 2020.
“Honestly, mixed feelings. Obviously, really happy about the race today, and this weekend, getting on pole,” he said after the race.
“But, at the same time, losing the championship, obviously. It was a matter of time, with the points gap. If Lewis only got a few points it would happen, and that was down to mid season.
“But so many positives. Last year it was a tricky race for me, in qualifying and race pace, so some good steps forward.”
Bottas knows he has what it takes to consistently beat Hamilton, and has identified one weakness he needs to continue to improve on to bridge the gap.
“I know I can, and today proves it,” he said when asked if the race victory shows he can continue to better his team-mate.
“It gives me confidence because I’ve managed to turn around many difficult race tracks for me. I’ve been making good steps forward this year, and this means I’m really looking forward to next year.
“Overall, I would say, I’ve had a weakness in some of the slow-speed corners, he has a strength there. This year he has been making less mistakes, but I’ve been getting better as well.”