'Every mistake will cost more this season' says Bottas as he targets maiden title
With all the uncertainty and upheaval around the 2020 F1 season it might be easy to forget that there is a world championship up for grabs, just like every other year. It’s a championship Valtteri Bottas is determined to fight for – and he’s already been thinking about how he will approach what will be a shorter season than normal.
“Minimising every mistake and maximising every single race weekend is going to be the key, because every mistake is going to cost more than in a normal championship with more than 20 races,” he said.
“So just consistency and being on it, that’s going to be the key and we need to keep on, not to be overdoing things, and trusting your own skills and the team around you. I’m sure we can do that.
“It’s an interesting season ahead… there’s a bit of an unknown after the first eight races, how the calendar is going to be so we just need to take that week by week, month by month and we’ll see.”
Bottas tested the 2018 Mercedes F1 car – with which team mate Lewis Hamilton won his fifth F1 title – at Silverstone this week, and said it took him surprisingly little time to get back to the limit.
“It took me just a few laps,” he said. “Of course, when you’re out of the car for some time as a driver, sometimes you think ‘do I know how to drive fast’ but I’ve been driving since I was a kid so it comes so [naturally], and I felt like [I did] in Barcelona testing so it was very nice. It was nice to get back confidence for the first race and be ready for it.”
Bottas' current Mercedes contract expires at the end of the year and while he says he’s been assured that Sebastian Vettel will not be taking his seat in 2021, the pressure is still on with the likes of George Russell waiting in the wings. But the Finn insists he is relaxed about the situation.
“I have that one single target in my mind for the season and that’s it, take all the other things away," he said. "If I can follow all those targets, performance targets, and if our team can perform well, there’s going to be no worries about any contract."