Although Bottas started 2019 with a strong win in Australia, after a few races Lewis Hamilton again asserted his dominance. In the end the Finn didn’t manage to win the championship, but he did secure his career-best second place in the standings. Now Bottas believes he knows what he needs to improve if he wants to finally beat his team-mate.
“It’s quite clear in my mind,” started the Finn.
“We’re definitely [working] with the engineers and with the team on my development programme. Things we’re really focusing on [is] the race week and for my performance that final step I need is consistency.
“Still more adaptability to different circumstances [as well] but the main thing is minimising mistakes.
“There were some qualifying sessions where I made mistakes and that compromised the Sunday and then there was some races where I made mistakes, for example, Hockenheim, I lost a big chunk of points there so [it’s about] trying to get rid of those.
“There’s still a lot I feel I can improve. It’s fine details here and there, a lot related to driving style and tyre management. But it’s a whole lot better than last year.
“Minimising those mistakes, being able to find [the right] mental state that [means] I will be able to perform at my best every single weekend – that’s the tricky part. Like in any sport.
“It feels like I have to dig very deep to find anything more from my side – how I can be a better driver, how I can perform better, how I can work better with engineers. It definitely keeps me working hard because it’s just not easy to beat him. And it requires a lot. That’s pushing me on every single day.
“I would really struggle to accept it, that some other driver can do something that I can’t. 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,” concluded Bottas.