Valtteri Bottas: 2018 my worst season in Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas has labelled 2018 as his worst season in Formula 1, having slumped to a win-less fifth in the standings.

Bottas classified third, with three wins, during his first campaign driving for Mercedes in 2017, which came after four years of racing for Williams.

Bottas eyed a title tilt in 2018 but, despite finishing runner-up at seven Grands Prix, he failed to climb atop the podium, and dropped to fifth in the championship during the closing rounds.

Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton won 11 races en route to his fifth world title.

“For sure the first season [in Formula 1] was tough, but you cannot compare because with Williams, in 2013, we were fighting at the back but I felt that I did the most that I could do,” he said.

“Then the few seasons afterwards were definitively better than this one.

“Then, last year was quite different from this year: it was my first year with the team, the first year alongside Lewis and I remember this time last year I was disappointed that I hadn’t met my targets.

“But now, when I look back, at least I had won some races, got some poles.

“Now, at this point, at this very moment, I’m even more disappointed, for sure. This has been my worst season, so far.”

Bottas added: “I think there’s been quite a few good races but things just haven’t gone my way.

“I would say that, in general, I’ve been unlucky this year, but there’s more than that. I know for a fact that I’ve performed better compared to last year, that’s the only thing that matters after a season like this.

“From a season like this, you just have to learn and try to forget, but this is definitively a season that will make me a tougher person and driver for the future.”

Bottas will remain with Mercedes for 2019.