After the departure of Nico Rosberg, and the addition of Valterri Bottas to the Mercedes squad in 2016, Bottas was peppered with questions about whether he will continue to use Rosberg’s methods, to try to surpass his new teammate Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg, after all, was the last driver to beat Hamilton over the span of a season. But Bottas says: “I am me, I’m not Nico.”
After Hamilton clinched the 2019 championship, Bottas had lost out to him for three seasons in a row. When asked if he will be more aggressive on the track, and try to get under Hamilton’s skin, Bottas responded that he was “slightly bored by that question”, going on to point out that every driver is an individual, with their own methods. He went on to say that he always has plans about, how he will proceed with winning the championship, and defeating many other drivers, alongside Hamilton.
Bottas continued by saying that he didn’t want to waste his energy on distractions, preferring to keep his focus on what he is doing on the track. He also recognized that he if was yet to perform on the level that he wishes to, it might upset Hamilton and his engineering team. But he does have a plan to beat Hamilton next season, though it is one he is keeping close to his vest.
In speaking ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Bottas also said that he already knew he was having a better season than his previous one, but it is still not a season he was hoping for. He is working on achieving greater consistency and fewer errors on the track. He feels that he is finally seeing the work that the engineering team starting to show. His primary focus remains putting his efforts into the success of the Mercedes team, while he is working hard on areas he formerly regarded as his personal weaknesses, and feels satisfied that he is seeing the results in different circumstances on the track. He is certainly always eager to do even better.
Bottas guaranteed himself second place in the 2019 standings, winning four races, his career-best, finishing up with what was, to date, his most successful season in Formula 1.