Valtteri Bottas says lessons he has learned from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during his first year with the team will help him perform at a higher level next season.
The Finn joined Mercedes from Williams at the start of 2017 and went on to win three races on his way to third in the drivers’ championship. However, his title hopes faded badly after the summer break, and while Bottas was disappointed to not sustain his challenge, he highlights how valuable it has been for his own experience to be part of a title-winning team.
“I’ve always set my targets very high, and of course I knew this year would be the opportunity for me to win the title,” Bottas said. “Joining this team that has dominated for the last few years, I knew that it could be possible for me. So of course I wanted to win the title, and that was my target. I failed on that, but I still got a lot.
“I got three wins and four poles, but the most important thing is the amount of things I’ve learned with this team – with the race team, but also back at the factory and with Lewis. So I’ve learned so many things that I’m sure are going to help me a lot in the future. That is the main thing, and that is why I’m looking forward to next year.”
Bottas says he must improve both in terms of his headline results, but also being able to ensure his form does not drop off to the same extent at any stage in 2018.
“Of course next year the target is to win more. Now with the points system you need to win races if you want to win the title, that’s how it goes.
“Of course you need consistency and the main thing for me was the inconsistency through the season. There were times I was performing really well, and there were times I was performing not so well, and that’s the main reason Lewis beat me. He was on it all the time, and that’s what I need to target next year.”