Bottas says 2018 repeat would have cost him seat

Date published: December 21 2019

Valtteri Bottas believes that Mercedes would have dropped him at the end of 2019 if there was no improvement on the previous season.

The Finn failed to win a race in 2018 and finished down in P5 in the Championship, 161 points behind his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, both Ferraris and Max Verstappen.

He immediately improved in 2019 however, winning two of the first four races before going on to get two more and finish P2 in this season’s standings.

“If I had a similar season to 2018, I don’t think the team would have continued with me. That’s how Formula 1 works,” Bottas told Autosport.com.

“It’s so important for me and also for my general well-being. I’ve had much more fun between the races now, and kind of fell in love with the sport, which I maybe lost a little bit towards the end of last year.

“I’m really enjoying the driving and it’s such an important season for me. Now I can happily say again I have many, many years ahead of me, and hopefully still with that same development.”

Bottas says that not only did that form help him keep his seat, one that many believed Esteban Ocon would fill for 2020, but also puts him in a better mental state to start the upcoming season in.

“It’s nicer, and an easier way mentally to start the next season,” he added.

“I feel it’s important to have good results, not only in the last few races. It’s not 100% necessary, because I know that even after a bad season, you can start a new season strong.

“But it is just nicer, and also for the team to know that I can perform for the whole year, on every single race track, and then they know that I’m definitely upward for 2020.”

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