Valtteri Bottas is not bothered to bring in mindgames in 2020 F1 season in his fight against Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Ever since Hamilton joined Mercedes in the current era, it is only Nico Rosberg who has managed to get under the skin of the British driver and eventually take the F1 championship away from him in 2016, with performance, luck and also mindgames.
No matter what, the battle between Hamilton and Rosberg remains the only closest fight in the hybrid era as neither Bottas and nor the Ferrari or Red Bull Racing drivers have managed to close in as much the German did in 2016, especially.
Things did get out of hands with the Mercedes management having to intervene as well. The wounds remains fresh and after the tight and ugly battle, the relationship between Hamilton and Bottas seems miles away from the former in the positive direction.
Time and again, Bottas has been asked about doing what Rosberg did to get into the mind of Hamilton, but the Finn has been resolute in his defence. Bottas remains adamant that he will do the talking on track rather than being mindgames into the fight.
He reckons anything else will bring more dramas and may take his mind off from racing, which is the key aspect. “To be very honest, I’m already slightly bored about that question because every driver is individual,” said Bottas. “I’m me. I’m not Nico.
“For sure, I always have plans, finding the different ways how I want to achieve my goal which is ultimately the championship and that obviously requires me to beat my teammate but also many other drivers. I’ve always preferred to do the talking on track.
“If I can keep up my performances and focus all my energy that I have into my own performance I think that’s going to be the best bet for me. If I start wasting energy elsewhere, it might take my mind off the driving and what really matters, and if I can then perform at the level I want to.
“It normally that tends to upset the other side of the garage a little bit and I know that being on the other side as well, it can lead you to mistakes and so on. I have a plan for next year and I’m not really willing to share it so we will find out.”
A solace for Bottas is that he will finish second in the drivers’ championship, which his career best and looking at 2018 where he was demolished, the 2019 F1 season has been quite fruitful even though he hasn’t been able to get over the line.
“I believe if I look at it overall, the season yes, it’s been my best so far in F1 but still not a season that I’m aiming for,” said Bottas. “I still need a bit more consistency, fewer mistakes but the thing that gives me good feeling and confidence for the future is now actually really starting to see the work we’ve been doing with the engineers.
“To add to it also what I’ve been doing with myself and driving-wise, and being really able to target many of the weaknesses I’ve had, and been able to improve my pace in different circumstances quite a lot. So that’s very satisfying to see and makes you want more.”
Here’s what Valtteri Bottas had to say on improvements in 2019