Valtteri Bottas Focusing on ‘Mental Side of Things’ to Beat Lewis Hamilton

Published 03/11/2021, 11:55 PM EST
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP prepares to drive in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


Valtteri Bottas opened up about the mental side of things ahead of the upcoming championship. He spoke about how he prepared himself over the winter break for the 2021 season.

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Bottas finished 2nd in the driver’s championship last year as his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, won his seventh world title. He also knows that he could have done a better job during the last season but hopes to improve in 2021.

The Finn managed to outperform his British teammate frequently throughout the season. However, he paid the price due to his inconsistency and was pipped to the title.

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Valtteri Bottas talks about his struggles

The Finnish driver said, “It’s important to switch off and important to disconnect. Many times when you step out from the sport for a couple of weeks, you start processing things and you realise things when you see the big picture and if I look at last year, yes there were races that I couldn’t affect, but then there were many races that I could have done a better job.”

Bottas added, “Still, I think from my side the big thing is the consistency Many times I perform on the level that I want to, but then there’s times that for some reason I don’t and I feel like I couldn’t get 100% out of myself and the team around me.”

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – AUGUST 02: Valterri Bottas of Mercedes and Finland during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on August 02, 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

“I’ve realised that a lot of that is the mental side of things. So [I’m] really trying to focus on, of course, all the learnings from previous years and still working a lot with my driving style and technique and trying to perfect the Pirelli tyres.”

He concluded, “A lot of the work and focus for me this season is the mental side of things. Trying to be mentally at my best at grands prix, trying to find the right way of approaching every single grand prix. Try and find more often the ‘flow state’ and that way, the consistency over the season.

One last time to put everything on the line

Bottas has only signed a one-year contract with the Silver Arrows following which his future will be up in the air. Hence, he will do everything to push his teammate & rival to the limit as he will hope to win the championship in his fifth campaign with Mercedes.

He said, “Although Lewis has won the titles, [whilst we have been] team mates over the years I’ve been with the team, I’m going into the new year starting afresh with this edge.”

“Absolutely I believe I can fight for the title and that’s of course my goal for the season. That’s my target, but it’s a long way until that and we need to take it really step by step.”

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LE CASTELLET, FRANCE: Second place qualifier Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Finnish racer will look to back his words when the season gets underway. Bottas will throw everything at Hamilton in order to stop him from winning his eighth title.

But will it be enough? We shall find out on the 28th March for the opening race.

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Arpit Gomes

491 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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