Valtteri Bottas is wary that his run of races without a victory will start to affect his confidence having not won since last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Now in his second season with Mercedes, Bottas has not won a race this year while teammate Lewis Hamilton has opened up a 40-point advantage at the top of the drivers’ championship. Hamilton has won on seven occasions in 2018, and Bottas admits trying to break his own drought is difficult now he isn’t in the title race anymore.
“It’s always hard trying to beat him,” Bottas said. “He’s having a good run now, he’s obviously really fighting for the championship and I’m not really anymore. Whatever is possible in the championship, I think third is going to be the goal for me. Of course I’m driving for myself as well as for the team and I really want good results.
“So I’ll keep motivated and keep trying to bring good results, but I really feel like I need some good results now. It’s been a while since I’ve had good, proper results. Nearly one year since I won a race, so for confidence and everything I need some results.
“I need to keep hungry and motivated for each race, because obviously the mentality for me now compared to the first few races of the season, it is more difficult now to keep that same mentality that you are fighting for the championship. But I need to give myself targets — you always need to have a target.
“If I just turn up at the weekend like, ‘OK I’m going to be here to help,’ it’s not ideal. So I need to have clear targets for each race weekend and that’s what I’m going to do.”
While praising Hamilton’s form, Bottas believes the amount of effort his teammate puts in away from races is masked by the image given off by his commitments outside of F1, and is not surprised by his ability to perform on a high level so regularly.
“No I don’t think that way, because he also works hard. It might look from the outside like he just goes wherever but I know the meetings we have at the factory, I know how many factory days we each have and Skype meetings and so on, so it’s not like he is not working between the races at all. But for sure he is very talented, very experienced and it is his strength just to be straight at it.”