Mercedes can't feel invincible despite strong start - Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas has stressed that Mercedes cannot rest on its laurels despite enjoying the best start to any Formula 1 season in 27 years.
Mercedes has picked up a 1-2 finish in each of the opening three grands prix – with Bottas victorious in Australia – to establish a sizeable buffer at the top of both standings.
But Bottas insisted that Mercedes cannot relax due to the competition that it faces from rivals Ferrari and Red Bull.
“We can’t feel invincible,” he stressed. “It’s only three races of the season done and we’ve seen not all the wins we’ve got and one-twos we’ve got, they’ve not been easy.
“We’ve been performing on a very high level as a team in all the areas and that’s why we have been able to achieve those results but it’s only three out of 21 and we need to keep pushing because everyone is very motivated to finish races ahead of us.
“We are not standing still and we don’t feel that we are unbeatable, we need to focus and improve on ourselves because there’s always margin to improve, even in the last race.
“It looked near-perfect from the whole team but going through everything with the engineers, it’s good to see that there’s still a list of things we can better, it’s much longer than the things we did well.”
Mercedes leads Ferrari by 57 points but Bottas believes that it is difficult to predict how the respective teams will fare in Azerbaijan this weekend.
“I think in Melbourne Ferrari underperformed, for whatever reason,” he said.
“They made a big step in terms of straight-line performance for Bahrain and that’s why they were quicker than us there.
“In China we made some steps forward, not really in terms of straight-line speed, but in corner performance, as we had new bits in the car and also made the tyres work better.
“This is a completely different track, so it’s difficult to predict it, but we know there is a long straight here where Ferrari's going to be strong.
“Like we saw in the last race, we were very strong in the slow-speed corners, and that's good to see."