Valtteri Bottas has no plan to employ Nico Rosberg-style mind games with Lewis Hamilton

His ultimate aim is to win the Formula One drivers’ championship but how will Valtteri Bottas dethrone Lewis Hamilton?

Valtteri Bottas does not intend to emulate former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg by employing mind games to get the better of Lewis Hamilton in the 2020 title race.

Hamilton wrapped up his sixth Formula One world title – and third in succession – by finishing second at the United States Grand Prix, where Bottas claimed his fourth win of the season.

The last person to deny the Briton the individual crown was Rosberg, who revealed mental tricks learned from seven-time champion Michael Schumacher helped him come out on top in 2016.

Asked if he would employ similar tactics in a bid to dethrone Hamilton next year, Bottas said: “Honestly, I’m already bored of that question because every driver is an individual. I’m me, I’m not Nico.

“I always have plans, pointing the different ways on how I want to achieve my goal, which is ultimately the championship. That requires me to beat my team-mate but also many other drivers.

“I’ve always preferred to do the talking on the track. If I can keep up my performance and focus all of my energy that I have into my own performance, I think that’s the best bet for me. If I start wasting energy elsewhere it might take my mind off the driving and what really matters.

“If I can perform at the level I want to, normally that upsets the other side of the garage a little bit. I know being on the other side as well it can lead you to mistakes, but I have a plan for next year. I’m not really willing to share it, so we’ll find out.”

Bottas has sealed more wins, pole positions, podiums and points in 2019 than in any of his six previous F1 campaigns.

He said: “If I look at it overall then it’s been my best so far in Formula One. But for sure I still need more consistency and fewer mistakes.

“The thing that gives me confidence and good feelings for the future is we’re actually really starting to see the work with the engineers and what I’ve been doing myself and driving-wise and being really able to target many of the weakness I’ve had and being able to improve my pace in different circumstances quite a lot. That’s very satisfying to see and makes you want more.”

The Finn could claim successive victories for the first time in his F1 career at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.

Tributes will be paid to three-time champion Ayrton Senna in the first race at Interlagos since the 25th anniversary of his death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

“He left a massive mark and legacy,” Bottas said of the Brazilian icon. “Time goes pretty quickly but his memory is not getting any weaker for sure, so he’s going to be in everyone’s mind all around the world.

“His career has motivated so many young kids to be better racing drivers. He left a massive mark and it will always continue like that.”

Comments