Formula 1 His Mercedes teammate
Despite playing second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton for his entire time at Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas believes he is a better driver than the six-time world champion.
Since winning the season opening race in Austria, Bottas has dropped 69 points behind Hamilton in the 2020 Drivers’ Championship, as he looked to claim a record-equalling seventh world title, which would put him level with Michael Schumacher.
“Of course I have to believe that, of course I believe that when I’m at my best I know I can be better than him,” Bottas told Sky Sports F1 when asked if he though he was a better driver than Hamilton.
“But obviously there are days that he’s better, no doubt, and overall in the last few years being his team-mate, overall he has been better.
“But I don’t do politics, I just love driving, I love racing, I like fair but hard racing and that’s what I do, that’s how I’ve always raced and that’s how I’ll go on.”
As well as winning in Austria, Bottas was victorious at the Russian Grand Prix and admitted that he has been happy with his performances this season.
“I’ve been pretty pleased with my performance, especially compared to previous years,” Bottas said.
“Especially my race pace has been really good so I think the performance has been there. It has been about small details, get them right and get things to go my way as well, but overall performance has been pretty positive.”
However, when he won in Russia, Bottas was criticised for his ‘f*ck you’ comments which were aimed at his detractors.
“As an athlete and a guy who really puts everything always out there,” Bottas continued, “when you feel like you’re not getting to your goals and not getting the results that you’re aiming for a long enough period of time, it just builds up.
“People always judge you even though they don’t know you. They don’t know you personally and how you are actually, no one knows what goes on inside people’s heads and that’s why it’s a bit silly to judge people based on what they see from outside.”