Valtteri Bottas: ‘When I’m at my best I can be better than Hamilton’

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Valtteri Bottas says he “has to believe” that he is a better driver than Lewis Hamilton, but concedes the Briton was ‘overall better’ in the last few years.

After being forced to retire from the Eifel Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas’ points deficit to Lewis Hamilton rose to 69 points. With his title hopes slipping away, Bottas was asked by Sky Sports F1 if he believed he was a better driver than his team-mate.

“Of course I have to believe that, of course I believe that when I’m at my best I know I can be better than him,” the Finn said.

“But obviously there are days that he’s better, no doubt, and overall in the last few years being his team-mate, overall he has been better.

“But I don’t do politics, I just love driving, I love racing, I like fair but hard racing and that’s what I do, that’s how I’ve always raced and that’s how I’ll go on.”

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Bottas goes on to say he is overall “pleased” with his performance in 2020.

“I’ve been pretty pleased with my performance, especially compared to previous years. Especially my race pace has been really good so I think the performance has been there.

“It has been about small details, get them right and get things to go my way as well, but overall performance has been pretty positive.”

The talk turned to Bottas’ detractors, who on two occasions received a “f*** you” from the Finn.

“As an athlete and a guy who really puts everything always out there, when you feel like you’re not getting to your goals and not getting the results that you’re aiming for a long enough period of time, it just builds up.

“People always judge you even though they don’t know you. They don’t know you personally and how you are actually, no one knows what goes on inside people’s heads and that’s why it’s a bit silly to judge people based on what they see from outside.”

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