As he emerges from an encouraging season, Valtteri Bottas has raised his ambitions for the 2020 campaign. He considers that his performances should be closer to those of Lewis Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas has probably reached more than halfway to the finish line in the hope of being extended by Mercedes again. At the end of a catastrophic 2018 season, the Finn was in serious danger of losing his place and had only one year left on his contract.
But the renewal of Bottas at the beginning of 2019 finally succeeded in convincing the Mercedes team to grant the driver an extra year. And this confidence was rewarded as the Finn finished the season in second place in the world championship, behind his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Indeed, Bottas showed a growing ambition and in particular the wish to obtain results closer to those of his team-mate, as evidenced by a recent interview;
“I need more consistency throughout the season. Lewis has always been there, performing at his highest level in every qualifying and race; I was there most of the time, but not every weekend of the race.” says the Finn.
“I need to find the balance on everything and I need to find ways to be at my best more often and I’m sure I can find it, one way or another.
“As a driver I’m sure there are a lot of things I can do better. I will be able to learn better and do better from this season on, these are things I am working on this winter.
“I’m sure I can improve even more this year. I’m going to try to learn from all the mistakes I’ve made, looking at every detail and why I made them, what caused them and how to avoid them again,”
Bottas rather fancies himself against Lewis despite losing out to the British driver by the USGP in 2019. He says he simply can’t accept that it’s not possible for him to beat Lewis and run at his level.
“I would really struggle to accept it, that some other driver can do something that I can’t.” says Bottas
“I accept it completely that Lewis won the title [in 2019] because overall during the season he was better than me. He beat me fair and square.
“But I believe there’s always something that I can do better and I can fix those weaknesses.
“Maybe I’m a bit more stubborn.”
Maybe he ought to ask Nico Rosberg?