Valtteri Bottas says he will have to “fine-tune everything” to be able to challenge for the 2020 drivers’ championship.
2019 was Valtteri Bottas’ best season so far in Formula 1. Not only did he finish second in the championship, but he was a legitimate challenger to Lewis Hamilton for most of the season. After a spectacular win in the first race in Australia, where he displayed a new no-nonsense attitude, the media dubbed him Bottas 2.0. Now, the Finn says he will have to become an even better version of himself.
“The fact is, I think competition is only going to get tougher between the top three teams,” said Bottas.
“So, for sure beating Lewis is always hard, but it means also beating the other drivers.
“But I know I have the speed in me and the ability so I don’t think I need to make any miracles.
“I need to fine-tune everything – so, let’s say ‘Bottas 2.77’, maybe.”
Although he wasn’t able to keep up with Hamilton in the second half of the season, Bottas says he improved as a driver in every aspect.
“It’s been a very good year of improvement all around.
“Every part of what it takes to be a complete driver, what makes the difference to get the wins and the results, and I just need to continue the progress really with the team.
“I’ve been learning a lot about myself for sure from last year to this year, and from all the mistakes from last year. It’s been helping me to be a better driver.
“Obviously I’ve had many weekends this year that could have been a lot better, so there are many points we are going to review with the team and find the causes, why the pace was not there or why I did a mistake.
“We will really go deep into details and again I can learn from those.
“I can’t really point out one thing [we’ll look at] except the consistency of the season with my performance, what affects that, and that’s more in the fine details [that] I need to go through with the team.”
The last time Bottas returned from a Formula 1 off-season, he was a better more aggressive driver. The Finn says next year we could witness the same.
“I managed to find something about myself last [off-season], so for sure we’ll try that again.”
But before Bottas can go on a well-deserved winter break, he had to take care of some final pieces of business at the Mercedes factory in Brackley, namely the 2020 seat fit:
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) December 13, 2019