Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton

Bottas: I can beat Lewis and Sebastian

Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas has been one of the revelations of the 2017 Formula 1 season, catapulted into the best team in the sport alongside one of the best drivers of the current era and he has delivered to the point that he is convinced he can win the title this year.

Eight podiums, including two wins, has kept him in touch with title contenders with quadruple F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and three times F1 World Champion Hamilton.

With the season on a month long break, Bottas told Sportbild, “I can become World Champion. There are still nine races to go. I believe that I can beat Lewis and Sebastian. I have already beaten both of them this year. And it should also be possible to do so in future races. I am getting better and better. There is no limit for me.”

Bottas was drafted into the all conquering Mercedes team and was expected to perform from the outset. Although team orders is not part of the Silver Arrows culture, the quiet Finn had to establish himself alongside Hamilton to prove he is more than a number two.

Bottas explained, “The team made it clear right from the beginning that we would both be treated and respected equally. We get the same equipment, there is no number one and number two driver in the team. I trust that.”

“I am fighting for the World Championship, and this is also about my own career. That’s why I do not want to be in the shadow of Lewis,” added the 27 year old.

Hamilton rates Bottas as his best teammate, and the respect is mutual as shown during a tense Hungarian Grand Prix where Bottas was told to allow Hamilton past to attack the leading Ferrari duo.

The Finn did as ordered with the proviso that Hamilton would cede the position should he not be able to overtake the red cars ahead. When it transpired that he could not, Hamilton returned the favour to Bottas, as agreed, allowing him through on the final lap to take third position back from him.

Bottas is encouraged by the way the scenario panned out, “Not every team colleague would have done that if he had a chance to be on the podium. Respect! This shows how well we work as a team. On the other hand, I would have been pissed if Lewis had reneged on the deal.”

Bottas lies third in the 2017 world championship standings with 169 points, trailing leader Vettel by 33 points and adrift of second placed Hamilton by 19 points with nine races remaining.

Big Question: Can Valtteri be F1 World Champion this year?