Valtteri Bottas: 'I feel like I haven't achieved anything in F1'
Valtteri Bottas says he is approaching the 2019 Formula 1 campaign with the feeling that he "hasn’t achieved anything" in the championship, as he bids to improve on a disappointing 2018.
Bottas endured a win-less campaign last season as he slumped to fifth in the standings, some way adrift of World Champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who triumphed at 11 Grands Prix.
Bottas has been retained by Mercedes for 2019 but knows he must adopt a fresh mindset in order to avoid a repeat of last year’s setbacks.
"Well first of all I still feel like I haven’t achieved anything in Formula 1," said Bottas. "So for myself, I have a lot to achieve, and I do want to meet my targets. I do still have a lot to do in Formula 1. I feel I have nothing to prove to anyone else except me.
"The team knows exactly what I’m capable of doing, but it’s going to be up to me, and for us as a team to work hard to be able to perform on my best level all the time.
"I know exactly what I can do if I perform on my very best level.
"I’ve looked into many things from last year and the year before. I just need to make sure within myself I am not going to waste any single opportunity whether it was for podiums or a race win.
"At every single race and situation I need to try to take the advantage on the others.
"I need to minimise the errors, I need to try to minimise all the situations that put me to thinking should I have done something different.
"I don’t want to be thinking about that after any race. So I want to take those opportunities."
Bottas added that he needs to be "the perfect me" in order to stand a chance of beating team-mate Hamilton.
"To fight against Lewis I need to perform at my very best and that comes together through many details driving wise," he said.
"This winter I’ve been trying to attack and learn the main points.
"There are normally trends that I have a deficit to Lewis at certain types of corners, why that is happening and how I can fix it. It is a long story, you don’t have two hours do you?
"All racing situations, mindset, attitude, everything I will try to be the perfect me that I can be this year. I can’t tell you all those things but I want this season to be my best season so far and not to leave any stone unturned.
"By the end of the season I don’t want to think I wished I tried harder or would have done something differently so I want to take all the opportunities."