Nico Rosberg says hard work and focus will be key for Valtteri Bottas to get over his form slump for Mercedes after struggling to find a comfortable set-up at recent races.

The reigning Formula 1 world champion joined the Sky Sports F1 coverage during the Japanese Grand Prix and was quizzed on Bottas’s recent dip in performance having endured a similar issue during his time racing for Mercedes before producing a turnaround which sparked his 2016 title charge.

Rosberg felt it was “unnecessary” for the Finnish driver to admit to his ‘toughest moment of his career’ after the Malaysia Grand Prix and feels focusing on how to improve will help without brining on any extra media scrutiny.

“That is unnecessary because it creates a wave which you don’t need,” Rosberg said on Sky Sports F1. “I would tell him not to speak about it just get your head down, work through it and try to get back out on the otherside.

“Already this weekend has given him a lot of self-confidence back because he was quick compared to Lewis. Okay, the off [in FP3] was not great but I think he is seeing the speed so that will be reassuring to him.”

After picking up a gearbox penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix, Bottas battled from sixth place on the starting grid to finish fourth less than one second off of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in third place. Bottas is 72 points off of Mercedes team-mate and F1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton but has closed to 13 points behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for second place in the standings.


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