Bottas rates season as ‘7.5 out of 10’


Valtteri Bottas would rate his 2017 season as “7.5 out of 10” after vowing to produce a title challenge next year.

Bottas enjoyed a decent opening campaign in the Mercedes after finishing third in the drivers standings, 19 points behind team-mate and world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Finn ended an 11-race drought by winning at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and hopes that is a sign of things to come in 2018.

“Overall, if I had to rate my season out of 10 I would maybe say 7.5,” said Bottas, at an event for Mercedes sponsor PETRONAS in Malaysia.

“I think there’s a lot of things I can do better next year.

“There were many races where I did struggle, and I didn’t perform at the level I wanted and the level I had to be at if I was going to fight for the title.

“But from those tricky races, I’ve learned massively. I think Abu Dhabi, and qualifying [on pole] in Sao Paulo before that, was confirmation that I had learned a lot from those tricky races.”

Bottas knows he needs to improve next season, as he expects the competition from Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren to become much fiercer.

He added: “I had some really good periods where I was performing well and being consistent, but I also had periods where I wasn’t performing as well as I should have.

“I need to attack those issues. I need to learn every single thing I can from 2017, which I’m sure I will by working hard over the winter with the team, and then I want to be a better, more complete, driver. Whatever that brings next year, we’ll find out.”