Bottas hints at 'more selfish' approach as F1 title remains his 'ultimate goal'

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Valtteri Bottas has suggested he will be more selfish in his approach at Mercedes in 2021.

Once again, the Finn finds himself trying to solve the conundrum of how he can beat teammate Lewis Hamilton to the Formula 1 championship.

So far, the closest Bottas has come remains his first at Mercedes in 2017, when he finished just 58 points behind the Briton.

And the 31-year-old admits he has struggled to work out how to consistently be at his best.

“In some of my years in Formula 1 I’ve definitively put too much pressure on myself, there’s been times when I’ve taken too much pressure from outside and also vice-versa – that there hasn’t been maybe enough pressure from my side,” he said this week.

“It’s all about finding that right balance and kind of playing with that.

Also Read:

“I have to be self-honest with everything and try to find a good way, heading into every single Grand Prix.

“But that’s the tricky part and it’s the same in every sport. There’s never been any sportsperson that has got 100 per cent out of themselves in every single event they’ve done, but I need to get there more often."

Last year Bottas finished 124 points behind Hamilton despite a shorter calendar due to Covid-19, but the nine-time Grand Prix winner remains convinced he can be champion.

“For this year, although Lewis has won all the titles since we’ve been teammates, going into this year we’re starting from fresh and with a new page, yes, I absolutely believe I can fight for the title and that’s of course, the ultimate goal this season," he stated.

“That’s my target, but it’s a long way until that and you need to really take it step by step.”

Throughout his time at Mercedes, Bottas has pushed back against claims he should follow Nico Rosberg's lead by using mind games against Hamilton, claiming it would only make Lewis faster.

But with his future particularly uncertain after 2021, with George Russell waiting in the wings, Valtteri is indicating he will focus more on himself.

“This year I’m demanding more from myself than ever,” he said.

“Obviously, without overdoing things but the ultimate goal for this season is that when I get to the last race, in Abu Dhabi, that I can look back and say that I did 100 per cent, I did every single bit to win the title – that’s the ultimate goal for this season.

“And that’s the same for all the people around me, whoever I’m working with.

“I’ll demand as much as I feel like I need to, to get the support and the information that I need.

“Maybe, that way, you know, can be a bit more selfish, but one year in a lifetime, giving it everything that you have is actually a short time and that’s the kind of mindset that I have. That’s including me and people around me.”