As he looks to win his maiden Formula 1 drivers’ title, Valtteri Bottas says he won’t resort to ‘mind games’ in a bid to beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to this year’s crown.

After winning the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, Bottas was unable to beat Hamilton in Styria or Hungary and now trails the Brit by five points in the drivers’ championship.

Infamously, Bottas’ predecessor Nico Rosberg used such tactics and arguably benefitted from them as the German beat Hamilton to the 2016 drivers' title.



Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Bottas was asked if he would resort to taking the battle with Hamilton off track and the Finn was quick to squash such suggestions..

“Yes, since I’ve been with the team it has been Lewis winning the title, so I know that I need to beat Lewis if I want to be the World Champion, but everyone else as well. But it’s only in our favour, as team, that we have the advantage.

“But it’s not going to change anything and it will need a different approach, mentally – you now, there are always questions about mental games, etc. – I just want to focus all the energy I have on the driving and I want to be at my peak performance, and I want to be earning the good results by hard work and being at my best mentally and physically.

“So, I’m not going to waste energy into anything else than my performance, really. I believe that’s the way to go and, also, for us as a team, if we want to keep having this advantage that we have at the moment, we have to work together. And I think that, at the moment, Lewis and I are pushing each other really well, to the limit, all the time, non-stop.

“So, that’s only a positive thing and he’s pushing me to my limits. So, I keep discovering things about myself and my driving and that’s a good thing, so my plan is just full gas, try to be at my best and really hope that’s going to be enough for the title. That’s it and it’s quite simple in the end.''

Bottas is expected to stay on with Mercedes in 2021 and the Finn is confident that there will be some news about his future in the coming weeks.

“It’s a different year, of course, we’ve only done three races so that’s why it doesn’t feel like it’s dragging on or anything. But things are definitely moving in the right direction, I think it was last week or the week before we start proper discussions, as there was no rush to start them.

“Hopefully, we’ll get there soon but, for now, everything is moving in the right direction. I’ve definitely not signed anything yet, but there’s no panic. I feel there’s good trust from both sides.''

 

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