Bottas spent winter learning Hamilton's advantage

  • 23 Feb 2019 09:37
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Valtteri Bottas says that he spent his winter looking ways to cut teammate Lewis Hamilton's advantage over him.

Hamilton has firmly beaten the Finnish driver over their time together at Mercedes. Bottas joined the Silver Arrows in 2017, replacing Nico Rosberg who opted to retire after winning the world drivers' championship.

Bottas won three races during his opening year with the team, but didn't climb onto the top step of the podium at all in 2018, becoming the only driver out of the top six not to do so.

As he heads into a new campaign, Bottas claims that he has been trying to learn how to beat the Briton over the winter, studying where the advantage lies. However, he says that it is a very complex situation.

"To fight against Lewis I need to perform at my very best and that comes together through many details driving wise," he said. "This winter I’ve been trying to attack and learn the main points. 

"There are normally trends that I have a deficit to Lewis at certain types of corners, why that is happening and how I can fix it. It is a long story: you don’t have two hours, do you? 

"All racing situations, mindset, attitude, everything I will try to be the perfect me that I can be this year. I can’t tell you all those things but I want this season to be my best season so far and not to leave any stone unturned. 

"By the end of the season, I don’t want to think I wished I tried harder or would have done something differently so I want to take all the opportunities."

Bottas has three Grand Prix victories and four pole positions to his name, but the former Williams driver says that he feels he still hasn't achieved anything in Formula 1. 

"Well first of all I still feel like I haven’t achieved anything in Formula 1. So for myself, I have a lot to achieve, and I do want to meet my targets. I do still have a lot to do in Formula 1. I feel I have nothing to prove to anyone else except me. 

"The team knows exactly what I’m capable of doing, but it’s going to be up to me, and for us as a team to work hard to be able to perform on my best level all the time. I know exactly what I can do if I perform on my very best level."


Replies (8)

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  • Hamilton's advantage is called "killer instinct". It can't be learned.
    It could be a quirk of the Finnish language of course, but using words like "fight against" instead of "defeat" and "trying to attack" instead of "attack", "try to be the perfect me" instead of "be the perfect me", it means that the killer instinct just isn't there.

    • + 0
    • Feb 23 2019 - 13:51
  • Pistonhead

    Posts: 63

    Michielhimself: agree - we saw on a number of occasions last year and the year before, Bottas will not lunge into corners (like RIC), will tend to be conservative when head to head anymore often than not will not win a tight dog-fight - his opponents will know if they go in hard, Bottas will yield sometimes. It's a tight line, because I would also be critical of him not being wise enough and knowing when to 'wait' if he was making too many contacts in those situations, but right now, he needs to turn up the dial and 'go for it' a little more. He has the exact same kit as LH, the difference is between his ears.

    • + 1
    • Feb 23 2019 - 14:32
    • Indeed. Verstappen's wheel-banging pass on Bottas in Abu Dhabi should also be on that list. Bottas probably wasn't even expecting Verstappen to be there anymore, likely based on his own lack of aggressiveness and therefore not being able to conceive someone still attacking him taking inside then sticking on the outside there, let alone succeeding.

      • + 0
      • Feb 24 2019 - 07:41
  • Just don't try to copy him. Screw the team orders and put the Ham in Hammy. Vettel and Hammy both drive great when they are comfortable. When they are not... well look at Vettel last year. Utilize that.

    • + 1
    • Feb 23 2019 - 18:14
    • Yep, agree. Stick him into the rails or gravel a few times and keep the pressure on him.

      • + 0
      • Feb 23 2019 - 18:56
  • I think if I were him I would open up a line of communication with Nico Rosberg and figure out how to get under Hammie's skin. I think the comments are correct he needs to develop his killer instinct. However, I do think it can be developed though. He needs to be more aggressive and keep his elbows out when he's got the edge on Hamilton. Rosberg had to crash into him a few times to show he was a force to be reckoned with. Hamilton won't yield so Bottas needs to have the same attitude.

    • + 1
    • Feb 23 2019 - 18:55
    • This. Absolutely this. He need to channel Rosberg, and put himself as an equal to Hammy, not as his second driver. Bottas think his day will come if he just play along, but that ain't how F1 works. F1 serves the lead drivers, become one or you'll be forgotten.

      • + 0
      • Feb 23 2019 - 20:10
    • f1ski

      Posts: 318

      Calle couldn't agree more. I will say from my racing days the only way to be faster is learn from where you are slower. We all have our weakness it stems from some element of sense of danger. Hence why drivers like different set ups. Everyone likes a car to warn them differently at the limit. Bottas is fast but Hamilton is fast everywhere. He loves to trail brake and then be back on the throttle hard. Hence when fuel wasn't an issue tire management was always a problem for him. He drives aggressively intelligently. He lets you initiate contact but the contact will always advantage him in that you will spin, need to lift , or get airborne. His strength now is a lack of emotion to failure. Bottas needs to get aggressive and learn when and where to do that.

      • + 0
      • Feb 24 2019 - 14:29

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