Valtterri Bottas enters the new 2018 F1 season with new approach to his team mate and believes that Lewis Hamilton is not unbeatable, but he has to be more consistent to challenge him for the championship.
Bottas joined the Mercedes F1 team last year after Rosberg’s F1 retirement and although he did not challenge Hamilton in the title fight, he left a very solid impression scoring 84% of his points tally.
He secured his first of a total of four pole positions already in the third race in Bahrain, and the first of the three victories was already in the bag in fourth race in Russia. Despite not being competitive in the second half of the season, the Finn still achieved very good results and was podium for 13 times, just like Hamilton and Vettel.
“Lewis is not unbeatable,” Bottas said.
“After five years at Formula 1, I have all the tools I need, and I’ve already won few races last year.”
“Now I just have to become more consistent, that was the problem last year.”
“Rosberg took a while to beat Lewis, but he eventually succeeded and showed that against Lewis you can be successful if you work hard.”
“That’s what I firmly believe in.”
“Lewis is a great driver, but I have the right to be upset when he is faster. I’m entering with a new approach on this point.”
We are not a second faster than the others
Mercedes’s race simulation in 2018 F1 pre season testing showed that their W09 was about a second faster than its direct rivals from Ferrari and Red Bull.
But Bottas does not believe that this advantage is realistic and that they have been on different programme compared to their rivals.
“The car worked well, I quickly found a good rhythm, and the feeling was good. It was fun,” said Bottas.
“I do not think we are a second in front of everyone, and it is questionable what our qualifying speed looks like, but we will find answers in a few weeks.”