Valtteri Bottas is now firmly entrenched as Mercedes wingman to help Lewis Hamilton win his fifth Formula 1, world championship title leaving the Finn to rue the chances that went begging as in his opinion he is quite close to his title fighting teammate.
Since finishing 2017 on a high with victory at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Bottas has not tasted victory while his teammate has six to his name in 14 races.
He said in an interview with MN, “For me, it’s quite disappointing and amazing that I haven’t won a race this year. It’s been quite close many times, especially in the first third of the season. I really want to win races, that’s why I’m here.”
“I don’t think the only way the next few races is that Lewis is secure in the title. If I have a good pace, a good qualifying, I’m strong in the race, I think I can definitely win – but for sure it’s a bit more simple if Lewis secures the title.
“I don’t really want to think about it too much. As long as I perform well, then hopefully I will get the results I deserve.”
Heading to Singapore he hopes that he can capitalise and break the non-winning streak, “You never know. You saw what happened last year!”
Bottas referencing the three car pile-up that eliminated Max Verstappen, Sebstian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, before adding, “It’s racing, and we go there with the mindset that anything can happen. Hopefully we can be more competitive there than we were last year, compared to other teams. It is tricky at the moment.
“The Ferrari is quick everywhere. Red Bull will be quick in Singapore. For us, we don’t really know how competitive we are going to be, but we are going to go there, try to get more points than Ferrari.”
“[The difference] is not much. I think they have a little bit more power, more straight-line speed, and in the corners the difference is minimal. It depends on the corners, it depends on which team gets the tyres working better. In Spa, we were blistering the tyres, [in Monza] Ferrari was and we weren’t.”
“It is very close – there is not much in the cars, so it definitely will be interesting seeing in Singapore if we have made improvements for that kind of track, but I think all the tracks coming up it really depends how good the upgrades we are bringing are going to be, and which upgrade they are going to bring.
“Any small gain is going to be a big benefit,” added Bottas who lies fourth in the F1 drivers’ championship standings with seven rounds remaining.