Valtteri Bottas admits he won’t have many more chances to beat Lewis Hamilton in the same car and that next year could be crucial as he has a contract with Mercedes for just one more year. Bottas replaced Rosberg in Mercedes in 2017, and despite a good start and victory in the fourth race of the season in Russia, the Finn failed to impose himself as a serious opponent of Hamilton and only finished second in four seasons in the drivers' standings.
Rosberg has been very equal in both qualifying and the race in four seasons with Hamilton and managed to win the 2016 championship title with four second places in the last four races after which he announced the end of his F1 career.
Bottas is aware that he will not have many more opportunities to compete with Hamilton in Mercedes, especially since the young Russell, who excelled in Sakhir, is ready for his chance in Williams. “I’m looking forward to trying something else, you know,” Bottas told Motorsport who doesn’t hide his love for rally racing.
"I feel maybe it's time to try something different." "Of course, I always look to the future and there will always be an opportunity. But there won't be a million more opportunities in this sport. " "I know I won't have 15 seasons with Lewis in which I can try to beat him."
"I know I really should try to do this season."
Bottas has been criticised
Botta's critics blame him for being a very good team player who does not get into fights with Hamilton, unlike Rosberg who, especially in 2016, was much sharper in mutual duels with Hamilton.
“Sure, we can race hard, but we have to stay on it,” Bottas said. "We also know the fact that if we can work together, then the team will progress. So there will be no hiding of car settings, data, and something like that.
” "Team spirit in team sports is underestimated, I think it's really important to maintain a level of motivation and avoid conflicts." “Of course, many suggest that I need to change and be Nico Rosberg.
But I'm not Nico Rosberg, I prefer to talk on the track and race fairly. " “I met Lewis and I know there is no point in playing with his mind. I’m sure it would annoy him, but I would also waste my energy.
And I think that would make him even angrier and he would drive even faster. ” "I think I'm going to continue on my way and so I want to win, that's the goal."