Bottas ‘looking ahead’ to new season

Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he has been working hard in the off-season to ensure he will challenge with Mercedes in 2018.

The 28-year-old Finnish driver finished third in the 2017 Drivers’ Championship in his first season with the Silver Arrows after leaving Williams to replace the retiring Nico Rosberg.

Bottas managed three race wins for the constructor champions, but had to watch as team-mate Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth career drivers’ crown and Ferarri’s Sebastian Vettel finished as the runner-up.

There is an element of pressure on Bottas to challenge more this year given that he will be battling for a new contract extension beyond this coming season, but he is up for the fight.

On his debut season, Bottas said: “I think the balance sheet is a bit up and down for me.

“There were many good moments but many disappointments as well. Lewis won the title as my teammate so we had a car to do it and he beat me. So I’ve learned a lot and that’s why I’m really looking ahead.”

He added: “I think the difficult races were the ones where I learned the most. I feel last season gave me a lot to work on to be a better person and driver and that’s always positive.

“That’s why I can’t wait for the future.”