Bottas needs to be 'on it' like Hamilton to fight for F1 title

Valtteri Bottas admits he must be more consistently competitive to be able to take on Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton and challenge for the world championship

Bottas needs to be 'on it' like Hamilton to fight for F1 title

The Finn scored the third victory of his first season with Mercedes in the 2017 season finale in Abu Dhabi, having started from pole for the second successive race.

After a strong first half of the season he had a tough spell after the summer break until he was able to turn things around near the end.

"Next year the target is to win more," he said. "Now with the points system we have, you need to win races if you want the title, that's how it goes.

"You need consistency, and the main thing for me was the inconsistency through the season.

"There were times I was performing really well, there were times I was performing not so well, and that was the main reason why Lewis beat me.

"He was on it all the time, and that's what I need to target next year."

Bottas said he aimed for the championship in his first year with the team, despite never being in title contention before in his stint with Williams.

"I always set my targets very high," he added. "I knew this year could be the opportunity for me to win the title.

"Joining this team, that has dominated the last three years, I knew it could be possible for me.

"Of course I wanted to win the title, that is my target, and I've failed on that, but I got still a lot.

"I got three wins, four poles, but the most important thing is the amount of things I have learned with this team, also at the factory, and with Lewis.

"I've learned so much that I'm sure it's going to help me a lot in the future. That's why I'm looking forward to next year."

Bottas says winning the final race of the season was a timely confidence boost.

"For me it's really important, because of the struggles I had after the August break," he said.

"By working hard with the team, I feel that I've really managed to improve so many things with my driving, and managed to be quicker in different kinds of circumstances.

"[In Abu Dhabi] being on the pole and winning the race, Lewis was giving everything, so that's a good feeling."

Bottas also expects to be much better prepared next year, having landed the seat so late last winter.

"We are going to go through everything from this season before Christmas," he said.

"I'm still trying to make my weaknesses 'none'. That's always the target, it's never possible but you can always try to be near-perfect, and that's what we try to work on.

"I'm going to work harder than ever this winter, and hopefully I can be better than ever next year."

shares
comments
Ferrari's 2018 Formula 1 car passes FIA frontal crash tests

Previous article

Ferrari's 2018 Formula 1 car passes FIA frontal crash tests

Next article

Mercedes aimed for '90% car' for 2017 F1 season

Mercedes aimed for '90% car' for 2017 F1 season
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021