Bottas must become version '2.77' of himself to win 2020 F1 title

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas says he will need to be version '2.77' of himself to win the Formula 1 title next year

Bottas must become version '2.77' of himself to win 2020 F1 title

Having played second fiddle to team-mate Lewis Hamilton over the first two seasons of his Mercedes tenure - with the latter half of 2018 proving particularly difficult - Bottas took an imperious win in this year's season opener in Melbourne.

The victory, paired with a seemingly different attitude and a perceived rise in confidence, triggered widespread references to 'Bottas 2.0' - and though he ultimately did not mount a sustained title challenge versus Hamilton, Bottas did manage to finish a comfortable career-best second in the standings.

When answering a question by Autosport at the conclusion of the season about if he needed to move beyond 'Bottas 2.0' to dethrone Hamilton next year, Bottas jokingly made a reference to his #77 race number.

"The fact is, I think competition is only going to get tougher between the top three teams," he said.

"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."

Bottas, who followed the Melbourne triumph with wins in Azerbaijan, Japan and the USA, earned another one-year extension midway through the season as he was preferred to Renault-bound Esteban Ocon by Mercedes.

Asked to sum up this past campaign, he said: "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."

Bottas began his off-season by winning last weekend's Rallycircuit event at Paul Ricard in a Citroen DS3 WRC.

The Finn joked that he would spend winter "eating lots more porridge and looking for a porridge sponsor", but also acknowledged the off-season could be pivotal for his 2020 hopes.

"I managed to find something about myself last [off-season], so for sure we'll try that again," he said.

shares
comments
Russell answers your questions on Kubica and life at the back of F1
Previous article

Russell answers your questions on Kubica and life at the back of F1

Next article

Why Ferrari will test two F1 cars in February

Why Ferrari will test two F1 cars in February
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022