“I’m going to beat everyone this year” is what Valtteri Bottas has declared in the build-up to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Last season Bottas slipped comfortably, perhaps too much so, into a number two role at Mercedes as he was called on to play second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton.
As a result he finished the season without a single grand prix win to his name whereas Hamilton bagged 11.
A despondent Bottas returned home to Finland, drank a bit, licked his wounds, and says he is now ready for the fight.
“I got to Finland, got properly smashed a few times, did anything I wanted to do basically,” AP quotes Bottas as having said during a sponsor event.
“Then I got a camera, I started photographing, it’s like a new hobby now so sometimes went for a walk somewhere and took pictures.
“I also travelled with my wife and some friends to South America, just for a proper holiday, didn’t think about Formula One.
“When I came back I decided that I’m going to beat everyone this year.”
Asked whether he believes he can win this year’s World title, he replied: “Yes, that is my aim and I feel I can do it.
“That’s the goal but how to get there, that’s going to be hard work.”
The 29-year-old added that while last season had been a “tough, quite tough”, it not only “made me tougher” but he learned valuable lessons.
“I feel it’s a nice fresh start.
“I’ve learned that the first half of the season is always very important.
“I started the year pretty well, just sometimes lost some points because of different things.
“I’m ready to go for it and try to be a better me.”
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