There’s no denying the fact that Valtteri Bottas has the most difficult job in Formula 1: his team-mate is the most successful driver in the history of the sport! On top of that, the fact that he has been as of yet unable to match Lewis Hamilton’s performance on a consistent basis, has drawn a lot of criticism from observers. The Finn says these comments don’t faze him.
“They really motivate me quite a lot,” Bottas told Motorsport.com.
“I’ve learned a lot from myself not to try and let those kind of things affect me. I try to avoid that negativity.
“But no matter what you do, there’s always going to be negativity: sometimes less, sometime more and it is the same with the criticism. But it’s a motivation to prove people wrong. No doubt.
“And I think I’ve said it before: sometimes I just don’t get why there is that kind of criticism. I guess there’s always a reason.
“But I don’t know that reason and again, I’m not in their position. So I’ve no idea what goes in their head…
“I think the people who really properly understand the sport and, look at details, and think of things in other people’s shoes or driver’s shoes, I think they understand.
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“But there’s many, for sure, like, in any sport, there’s always couch commentators who might, you know, underestimate things.
“From my side, I can say that it’s not an easy job. If you look at the numbers, Lewis is the most successful driver in F1 history, and I need to go up against him with decent speed and consistency weekend after weekend.
“So yeah, it’s not an easy place to be. But that really motivates me, and that’s the goal for me to try and beat him.
“That will keep me going and that will keep me pushing myself again, hopefully to a next level.”
However, Bottas admits he has at times struggled to understand how Lewis managed to pull off some of his amazing drives.
“There are times that I’ve struggled to understand how is that possible: whether it’s a single corner, or whether it has been a stint on a certain track with a certain tyre compound.
“But there’s always reasons and we always dig for those reasons. The worst thing is to leave something that you don’t understand.
“I know that the team has pretty smart engineers, so they can always dig out the reasons and give an explanation and tell me how I can try and match that or do better,” concluded the Finn.