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Mercedes tells Valtteri Bottas what is required to keep F1 seat in 2020

Written by  Jan 05, 2019

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has laid out what Valtteri Bottas needs to do to keep his seat in 2020.

After a difficult season last year, the Finn became the first driver since 2012 to go a full year with the Brackley-based squad without a victory.

Now, with Esteban Ocon as reserve driver having been ousted at Racing Point, the pressure is on Bottas to prove he would be a better option than the Frenchman heading into a new decade.

"Valtteri knows exactly where he needs to be next year, he needs to have all the bad luck gone and perform on a level with Lewis [Hamilton]. That is what is needed for the 2020 year," Wolff was quoted by Autosport. "He knows very well that, and he has that in him."

Bottas ended 2018 a massive 161 points behind his teammate in fifth in the Drivers' Championship and had to play a support role officially from the Italian Grand Prix but had helped Hamilton before then.

More worrying for the 29-year-old is his team boss only expects Hamilton to get better.

"Lewis improving means Valtteri needs to improve," Wolff continued. "I've seen that improvement all the time with him, but you are going against a five-time world champion.

"He needs a start where it's right up there with Lewis and all the other drivers for the championship. That is what he needs."

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The Austrian has faith, however, that Bottas, should he perform at his best, does have what it takes.

"Beating a five-time world champion at the peak of his performance is going to be very difficult and Valtteri knows that, but I think that he has it in him," Toto declared.

"He can win - he has proven it [in 2018] on a few occasions, but he had bad luck or was in a position where he could not win.

"If that turns into a positive momentum that is actually driving for the championship, I think that Valtteri can win the championship."

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