Last quote by Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas quotes
I always set my target very high. I want to perform to the level where the car can be, right from the first race, that is my target. I always take it day-by-day and step-by-step but I want to start at a very high level and keep on getting better.
Obviously the targets are completely different now compared to the last few years. I feel I am in a good place and it would definitely be nice to have another Mercedes one-two here. It is a dream come true to join a team like this, that has pretty much dominated Formula One for three years.
I feel I'm ready to race and ready to bring the car to where it should be. Every time I step into the car I make progress and I feel I was getting very close to getting everything out of the car [by the end of testing]. I am confident I can get the limit out of the car. I always set my target very high, so I want to perform to the level where the car can be, right from the first race, that's my target.
Going against Lewis, I am pretty excited about that. He's a three-time world champion, he's a great reference and everyone knows how good he is as a driver. So it's great to be the teammate to Lewis and I just wish we can have a very strong year in this new era of Formula One.
I think for me it's a great opportunity. For sure it's a big challenge, there's no doubt I will definitely need to prove myself to a lot of people and to the team that I deserve the place, but I just see things very positively. I see it as a great opportunity for my career to fight for wins and hopefully even for the championship.
I don't fear that, I think Mercedes doesn't have a number one or number two driver and that's pretty much up to me to perform. As long as I do my job so that my performance on track is at the level the car should be, we're all good. So far it has been very good. In testing we managed to work well as a team and there was a good team spirit the whole time. I see no reason why it shouldn't continue like that.
I always remind myself the only thing that matters is I perform on track and that's all I need to do. I don't know what's wrong with me but I feel no pressure at all.
The team is definitely closely watching my performance and Lewis is the reference. I am happy with that, I know this year is going to be important for me to prove to the team that I deserve this spot, I am completely fine with that.
I've definitively needed to adapt some things on my driving style, take slightly different lines and use slightly different driving techniques. It's not just because it's a different car with more grip. Mechanically it behaves a bit differently, which takes a bit of time if you want to get absolutely everything out of the car.
He has been part of this team for a long time, he knows exactly how the team works. He did comment after the first time running with the new car that he feels pretty much the same behaviour as the old car - obviously with more grip and feels slightly bigger.
I still think there's work to do, as changing teams is maybe a slightly bigger thing than I initially thought it would be. But it's not a hurdle than you cannot go over, I think it's definitively something that I can do and I've been working flat out since the announcement to get comfortable with everything.
I definitively feel more comfortable and more part of the team every day, I already feel good. For example, getting in this morning and having breakfast here it already felt normal, so that's a good feeling. But there's definitively a big difference compared to last week, because this was the first proper time of working as unit, as a team, on track, with the engineers, finding performance, and I learned very much from it every day.
But I would rather join a new team at this point than, for example, the year before.
I think that during the two days of running I did - in four half days - I definitively did more laps than I've ever done and that's very nice and very useful in this new era of Formula One, with the new type of cars and, for me, with a new team. For me any track time is beneficial and I learned a lot from this running, and I'll be working together with the team on all the details. So it was a very good test, overall, the best ever for me.
We can be better. It does not have any special meaning because it's only testing and there's no reward for that. We weren't particularly focusing on lap times this week, the main priority was, for us, to get the mileage, find any issues with the car if there was anything to come from that side, because we'd rather have them here than in the races. For me it was important to get the mileages, so I was pretty happy we could manage plenty of running and, at the same time, go through the test program of the team.
I really feel like I'm getting the most out of what I've got now.
I'm just trying to do the best I can to take the second seat.