Pre-Season Thoughts Of Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas joined us this afternoon for a chat about his thoughts on the upcoming season, the new car and about his new team mate!
Looking fresh in his crisp new Mercedes gear the Finish driver was really excited about this new chapter in his F1 career. “I got the call and couldn’t refuse, this is a massive challenge and a massive opportunity”when asked about the fact that this could be a temporary one year deal he’s very matter of fact that ‘it’s up to me if I stay longer. It is no secret that the team wants me to perform and that will earn me more time here. The Team wants me to perform on the level of the car and on the level of Lewis”. This is going to be a tough year and his real opportunity to prove himself at the highest level in F1.
On his team mate he says “we haven’t had time to get to know each other, but we have had a chat and we both are excited for the new season” He also said that he has to believe that he can beat him, and be faster than him because if he didn’t then “I would rather just stay at home.”
Valtteri agrees he has a lot to learn and is ‘for sure at a bit of a disadvantage coming in so late’ after only being confirmed in January, however he knows there is not a lot he can do about it and feels he is as prepared as he could be.
He feels that he has settled in well to the team and added that there is a big difference between Mercedes and his former team Williams. ‘This is definitely next level’ he said, and talked about the sheer amount of people who work for Mercedes going through every tiny piece of detail possible, giving him the best environment possible to be able to thrive and deliver for the team.
As for the car itself ‘It’s the best looking car I have ever seen. Even in my short run today with the wind and the rain I could feel the downforce, it is certainly the most downforce car I have ever driven. ”
Clearly he has high hopes for 2017 and warned his rivals, “I’m ready”. “I’m ready now for wins and podiums” but he is also a complete realist knowing for sure that it is going to take time to settle in and build up to the level required. I wonder if that comes across as being almost defeatist already? Or pre losing excuses? I don’t know but I do believe that he is so laid back and so confident that if he is going to flourish anywhere, it will be here in the fastest car, in the fastest team.