Valtteri Bottas says he changed his mindset compared to 2018 and now ‘really enjoys the driving’ again.
The Finn finished the 2018 season fifth in the standings, without a single race win to his name. This led to rumors that his days at Mercedes were numbered and he finished the season a ‘defeated man’. However he returned in 2019 stronger than ever and dominantly won the opening race in Australia. In the end he had his best F1 season yet and finished as a runner-up in the drivers’ championship.
“If I’d had a similar season to 2018, I don’t [think] the team would have continued with me,” admits Bottas.
“That’s how Formula 1 works.
“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 of me, and hopefully still with that same development.”
“I’m definitely in a very different mindset compared to last year,” the Finn continued.
“I was counting down the days that the season will be done, and that I can find a way to get myself back together and start fresh from zero again.
“The last month of last season, that felt like a long, long time.”
He admits his improved performance in 2019 makes the winter break a “nicer” experience.
“It’s nicer, and an easier way mentally to start the [next] season. 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,” concluded Bottas.