Valtteri Bottas is chasing the 2020 title, and he says the shortened season means any errors will now be more costly than ever.
Eight rounds have so far been confirmed, but with Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan now cancelling their races the schedule beyond that European phase is continuing to shrink.
2020 will certainly be a shortened season compared to the original plan for a record 22 races, and Bottas is clear that this means any errors will be even more costly than before as he chases that first World Championship.
Speaking in an Instagram Live video with Will Buxton, Bottas said: “Minimising every mistake and maximising every single race weekend is going to be the key, because every mistake is going to cost more than in a normal championship with more than 20 races.
“So just consistency and being on it, that’s going to be the key and we need to keep on, not to be overdoing things, and trusting your own skills and the team around you. I’m sure we can do that.
“It’s an interesting season ahead… there’s a bit of an unknown after the first eight races, how the calendar is going to be so we just need to take that week by week, month by month and we’ll see.”
Bottas was back in an F1 car this week when he tested Mercedes’ W09 from 2018 at Silverstone, and he said he was surprised by how little time it took him to find his groove again, considering there has been no F1 action at all since February.
“It took me just a few laps,” he confirmed.
“Of course, when you’re out of the car for some time as a driver, sometimes you think ‘do I know how to drive fast’ but I’ve been driving since I was a kid so it comes so [naturally], and I felt like [I did] in Barcelona testing so it was very nice. It was nice to get back confidence for the first race and be ready for it.”
Bottas is, as always, out of contract at Mercedes come the end of the season.
But he is focused solely on winning the title, saying that way a new contract would be a guarantee.
“I have that one single target in my mind for the season and that’s it, take all the other things away,” he explained.
“If I can follow all those targets, performance targets, and if our team can perform well, there’s going to be no worries about any contract.”