Valtteri Bottas says he won’t engage in mind games with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to find an advantage in the 2018 Formula 1 world title fight.

The Finnish driver has enjoyed a pleasant start to his teammate relationship with Hamilton since joining the reigning F1 world champions at the start of last year with both drivers and team boss Toto Wolff commenting on a positive working partnership.

It marks a turnaround since Nico Rosberg’s retirement which ended a frosty relationship between teammates at Mercedes and Bottas is eager to maintain the positive feeling alongside Hamilton into the 2018 F1 season.

But when pushed on aiming to find an edge on Hamilton for the new F1 season he ruled out any mind game tactics used by Nico Rosberg to destabilise his teammate.

“Every driver has weaknesses but rather than focus on him I am going to spend my energy focusing on myself and my performance on track,” Bottas said. “If perform on the level I’m aiming to I hope that will do the job. I am not going to start wasting my energy on any games.

“For me, if I perform at the level that I aim to perform, I hope to see more on-track battles with Lewis. I just really want to win as many races as I can to try and win the championship. That’s the goal and I don’t need to change anything else to do that. I’m not going to start playing any mental games or anything like this.”

Bottas benefitted from Hamilton’s option to “sacrifice” his F1 pre-season track testing time on Tuesday to allow the Finn to complete a full programme of running with 94 laps and a best time of 1m 19.976s at Circuit de Catalunya.

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