Bottas: 'At my best, I can be better than Hamilton'

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Valtteri Bottas does believe that "at his best, I can be better than Lewis Hamilton".

The Finn has once again been largely outclassed by the six-time world champion, who has eight poles and seven wins to his name in 2020, compared to just three poles and two wins for Bottas.

Luck has also played a part, with Valtteri suffering two non-points finishes while Hamilton's worst result is seventh at Monza, but ultimately, right now Lewis currently holds a 69-point lead with six races to go.

Even so, asked by Sky Sports if he is better than his teammate...

“Of course, I have to believe that," he replied. "Of course, I believe that when I’m at my best I know I can be better than him.

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“Obviously there are days that he’s better, no doubt, and overall in the last few years being his teammate, overall he has been better.

“But I don’t do politics, I just love driving, I love racing, I like fair but hard racing and that’s what I do, that’s how I’ve always raced and that’s how I’ll go on.”

Despite the current deficit in the championship, Bottas also ranks his 2020 as one of his best seasons.

“I’ve been pretty pleased with my performance, especially compared to previous years,” he said.

“Especially my race pace has been really good so I think the performance has been there.

“It has been about small details, get them right and get things to go my way as well, but overall performance has been pretty positive.”

The big problem Bottas has had, however, is going head-to-head with Hamilton as the Eifel Grand Prix proved.

“Lewis is ahead going into the corner and then Valtteri does an amazing job, sticking it out on the outside, putting his foot down even when he’s off the track there to take the position back,” 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg told Sky analysing their start duel. 

“It was awesome driving. I think I tried that like six times in my time against Lewis and I always lost out. I mean you don’t go around the outside of Lewis Hamilton.

“But then a couple of laps later Valtteri does make that mistake that he can’t allow himself to make against Hamilton, you have to keep it perfect.

“Bottas needs to step it up. He is not challenging Lewis hard enough.”

Responding to the criticism that has come his way this year, however, the Finn said: “I’m trying not to care, but I use it really as a motivation.

“For me, it’s definitely never going to bring me down, it’s visa-versa.

“In the end, it is a good thing. Sometimes I don’t get it but I’ve learned in my career not to really let it affect me in a negative way, my performances or my life.

“People always judge you even though they don’t know you. They don’t know you personally and how you are actually, no one knows what goes on inside people’s heads and that’s why it’s a bit silly to judge people based on what they see from outside.”