Valtteri Bottas accepts the criticism he received across the 2018 Formula 1 campaign was something he had to shoulder but wants to use it as “an extra boost” for his 2019 preparations with Mercedes.
While the Finn was unfortunate to miss out on race wins in Baku and Russia last year there were a number of races he underperformed in compared to teammate Lewis Hamilton who stormed to 11 victories on his way to the F1 world title.
Bottas duly came in for criticism for his performances as he had to accept the number two driver status towards the end of the year as Hamilton closed in on his fifth world championship.
Bottas, who has a one year contract with the possibility of a second year extension, is eager to put the negatives of last season behind him and go “all in”.
“There was quite a bit of criticism at some stages of 2018, but that’s actually been a positive thing for me because it's given me an extra boost,” Bottas said.
“I am excited for the new season and that everyone starts with zero points. We are all on the same line and 2019 can bring anything; I’m going to go all in this year.”
Bottas is also hopeful of adapting to Mercedes’ W10 F1 car quickly with the revised technical regulations and altered design which is focused on curing its rear tyre performance problems from its predecessor.
“The car has changed quite a bit because of the aero regulations changes, so it will be interesting to get an idea of how the car feels and how it handles,” Bottas said, having spent the morning of Mercedes’ launch and shakedown at Silverstone driving the W10.
“You never know what to expect and so it’s exciting to jump in the car and discover it, to try to get a feel of the balance of the car and its behaviour. We do already push the car in the shakedown to get a feel for it.”