Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is confident he has “all the tools” required to become a Formula 1 world champion in 2018.

Bottas replaced Nico Rosberg at the reigning world champions last season and enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in his F1 career, claiming four pole positions and three wins on his way to third place in the drivers’ standings. 

The Finn finished nearly 60 points down on world champion Lewis Hamilton but recovered from a mid-season form dip to convincingly beat his Mercedes teammate to pole and victory at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

“I believe I have all the tools, I can’t see any reason why not,” Bottas replied when asked if he could win his maiden F1 title in 2018.

“I’ve had five seasons in Formula 1 and my second year with this team. I won some races last year so I know I can do it.’’

Mercedes heads into the new campaign as the early title favourites following a strong pre-season test at Barcelona, having racked up the most mileage of any team, with Bottas and Hamilton completing over 1000 laps between them across the eight days of running.

Last year Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described the German manufacturer’s championship-winning 2017 F1 car as a ‘diva’, after the team’s performances fluctuated across the season. But Bottas is confident Mercedes has ironed out those traits heading into 2018. 

“I think we have made progress. At least in Barcelona the balance is a bit more together than last season. We’ve had no big issues, balance in the car and setting up the car, but it’s only one track so we will find out over the season.

“There will be tracks, there will be days that it’s always going to be a more difficult car to drive and we just need to find the ways, I need to find the ways to get around it. 

“I think consistency is definitely going to be the key,” he added. “It’s a long season ahead and with the weaknesses we saw last year with the car, for example in Monaco or Singapore

“We’ve tried to make those things better and then through the season we can be more consistent. We will find out.”


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