Valtteri Bottas reckons he’ll need to improve once again in the Formula 1 off-season if he is to have any hope of beating Lewis Hamilton, but won’t need a repeat of his Bottas ‘Version 2’ of last year, with some slight adjustments required instead.
At the start of 2019, the Finn won the first race of the campaign in Australia, sporting a new beard and a focused straight-faced attitude, which led some to dub the improvements as ‘Bottas 2.0’.
He comfortably finished second in the drivers’ championship, but knows if he is to make the step up to the next level he’ll need to improve again, although not to the same extent as before.
“The fact is, I think competition is only going to get tougher between the top three teams,” he told Autosport.
“So, for sure beating Lewis is always hard, but it means also beating the other drivers. But I know I have the speed in me and the ability so I don’t think I need to make any miracles.
“I need to fine-tune everything – so, let’s say ‘Bottas 2.77’, maybe.”
Looking back on the most successful season of his career in which he won in Australia, Azerbaijan, Japan, and the USA, Bottas was happy with the development from the previous campaign and is hoping to continue on an upward trajectory in 2020.
“It’s been a very good year of improvement all around,” he continued.
“Every part of what it takes to be a complete driver, what makes the difference to get the wins and the results, and I just need to continue the progress really with the team.
“I’ve been learning a lot about myself for sure from last year to this year, and from all the mistakes from last year. It’s been helping me to be a better driver.
“Obviously I’ve had many weekends this year that could have been a lot better, so there are many points we are going to review with the team and find the causes, why the pace was not there or why I did a mistake.
“We will really go deep into details and again I can learn from those.
“I can’t really point out one thing [we’ll look at] except the consistency of the season with my performance, what affects that, and that’s more in the fine details [that] I need to go through with the team.”