Bottas brushes off poor poll rating


Valtteri Bottas has dismissed the results of a recent poll where Formula 1 team bosses considered him to be the tenth best driver on the 2017 grid.

Bottas clinched four pole positions and three race victories following his move to Mercedes, but dropped one place from ninth in the annual poll carried out by Autosport.

The Finn's highlights of the season were overshadowed by spells of poor form, but Bottas is not taking any notice of the results.

"There’s always all kind of polls and stuff," said Bottas.

"I don’t really think about it, if I‘m underrated or things like that. Really what matters is how I perform on track; how many races I will be able to win in the future.

"The main thing is within the team, that they know exactly my level of performance, that they know what I‘m capable of doing."

Reflecting on the 2017 season, Bottas does think that it has proven to be an invaluable lesson for him after making the step up from Williams.

"I think as a driver I’ve definitely learned a lot," Bottas added.

"I’ve felt that sometimes I had quite a hard lesson, I really struggled in some races with the car and my driving. 

"I really have to work on many of the issues and learn from those and get better. I think out of all the seasons I’ve had in Formula 1, this is the one where I’ve learnt the most."

Bottas finds himself in a familiar situation where he will have to earn another Mercedes extension after the Silver Arrows decided to award the Finn with another one-year contract.

And Bottas believes he has the ability to do that with a more sustained challenge for the 2018 title.

"I know that this will be up to me," he said.

"We are able to race Lewis with equal machinery and equal terms, we are going to be allowed to race on the track so it’s up to me.

"If I can perform in qualifying, and well in the races pace-wise and in racing situations, then I can fight for the title if we have a good car."

The top 10 of 2017 as voted by the Formula 1 team principals were:

1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Max Verstappen
3 Sebastian Vettel
4 Daniel Ricciardo
5 Esteban Ocon
6 Fernando Alonso
7= Kimi Raikkonen
7= Carlos Sainz
9 Nico Hulkenberg
10 Valtteri Bottas