Bottas: To beat Hamilton we have to win more

bottas:hamilton abu dhabi

Hamilton and Bottas – pic: Mercedes AMG F1 Twitter

Valtteri Bottas believes he must be more consistently competitive and win more next year to take the championship title fight to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The Finn scored three race victories throughout the 2017 season, with his most recent coming at the final round in Abu Dhabi, having starting from pole for the second successive race.

Bottas admits the second half of the season didn’t go to plan and he wasn’t able to achieve the results he wanted until right at the end.

“Next year the target is to win more,” said Bottas.

“Now with the points system we have, you need to win races if you want the title, that’s how it goes.

“You need consistency, and the main thing for me was the inconsistency through the season.

“There were times I was performing really well, there were times I was performing not so well, and that was the main reason why Lewis beat me.

“He was on it all the time, and that’s what I need to target next year.”

The 28-year old says winning the last race of the year was an important confidence booster and hopes to continue his momentum over the Winter break and into 2018.

“For me it’s really important [winning in Abu Dhabi], because of the struggles I had after the August break,” said Bottas.

“By working hard with the team, I feel that I’ve really managed to improve so many things with my driving, and managed to be quicker in different kinds of circumstances.

“[In Abu Dhabi] being on the pole and winning the race, Lewis was giving everything, so that’s a good feeling. It will be nice to continue that from Melbourne [2018].”

“I’m still trying to make my weaknesses none. That’s always the target, it’s never possible but you can always try to be near-perfect, and that’s what we try to work on.

“I’m going to work harder than ever this winter, and hopefully I can be better than ever next year.”

Bottas defines his first year with Mercedes as a learning year and says coming into the season he knew he well and truly had the chance to challenge for the championship.

“I always set my targets very high,” added Bottas.

“I knew this year could be the opportunity for me to win the title.

“Joining this team, that has dominated the last three years, I knew it could be possible for me.

“Of course I wanted to win the title, that is my target, and I’ve failed on that, but I got still a lot.

“I got three wins, four poles, but the most important thing is the amount of things I have learned with this team, also at the factory, and with Lewis.

“I’ve learned so much that I’m sure it’s going to help me a lot in the future. That’s why I’m looking forward to next year.”