Valtteri Bottas Takes ‘New Year, New Me’ Literally

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Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has said that his goal is to drive the season of his career.

Although he is driving for F1’s fastest team, the Finn is under immense pressure. He struggled alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2018 and now Esteban Ocon is threatening to take his place for 2020.

“The holidays are basically over now,” Bottas said, as quoted by Iltalehti newspaper.

“On Tuesday I travel to Switzerland for the first public relations work,” said the 29-year-old, who over the holiday period has grown a beard.

“I forgot to shave and now there is no reason to shave it off,” Bottas laughed.

Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas

During his vacation, plenty of observers have criticised Bottas’ 2018 season, and his long time sponsor has pulled out.

“On holiday I was able to switch off from formula one and do other things. I have tried to avoid any of the criticism, even though it can also be used as a stimulus,” he said.

“I am happy to start the new season. The goal is to drive the best season of my career,” Bottas insisted.

Bottas has what it takes to succeed with Formula One champions Mercedes but he will also have to show next season that he deserves to be there, according to team boss Toto Wolff.

“Every racing driver in a Formula One car has to look over his shoulder. It is a very brutal sport where only the best ones survive and they are very well aware,” Wolff said.

“Valtteri is a fierce warrior and he wouldn’t be where he is today if he was not an outstanding racing driver. I think he absolutely embraces the challenge of being teammate and competitor to Lewis Hamilton,”

“I think where things have gone wrong with Valtteri in 2018 was that he was very unlucky. He could have, should have — but that doesn’t count — won three races.”