"No benefit" to mind games insists Valtteri Bottas


Valtteri Bottas says he is not a Nico Rosberg, and prefers to do his talking on track as opposed to playing mind games with his teammate.

Of course, before one writes another word, one merely has to point to the fact that Roberg won one title during the three seasons he drove the all-conquering hybrid Mercedes and finished runner-up the other two, while in four seasons there have been no titles and runner-up only twice for Bottas, finishing 3rd in 2017 and 5th in 2018. Furthermore, the German claimed 23 wins during that period and the Finn just nine.

While some feel that Bottas needs to follow Rosberg's example and try to get into the mind of his teammate, The Finn insists that he prefers to do his talking on track.

"We know the fact that if we can work together, that's how the team is going to benefit in the end," Bottas told Motorsport.com. "We can, for sure, race hard, but we can also leave it there. And we know the fact that if we can work together, that's how the team is going to benefit in the end. So there's not going to be any hiding of set-ups or data or anything.

"The team spirit in team sports is underestimated," he added. "I think it's really important that you keep the motivation up, and avoid conflicts.

"Of course, along the way, there's been many people suggest I change to be a Nico Rosberg," he continued. "But I'm not a Nico Rosberg. I much prefer to do the talking on track and race fair.

"I have also been able to get to know Lewis, and I know that there's no benefit of trying to play with his mind. I'm sure it would be annoying for him, but it would be wasting my energy. And I think he will be getting even more pissed off and drive faster.

"So I think the way I'm doing things, that's how I want to win. That is my aim."

Nonetheless, at a time some claim that George Russell's performance in Sakhir is influencing the ongoing contract negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes, Bottas is aware that his future at the German team is also in doubt.

"I'm keen to explore something, you know," said the Finn. "I feel like maybe it's time to try something different.

"Of course, I always look forward to the future, and there will be opportunities. But in this sport, there's not going to be a million opportunities.

"I know that I'm not going to have 15 seasons with Lewis to try to beat him. I know that I really need to try and do it next year," he admitted, referring to 2021.

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Published: 18/01/2021
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