Valtteri Bottas has explained how he will change his mindset going into the 2019 Formula 1 world championship by “not going to waste any single opportunity” regardless of the situation.

The Mercedes driver failed to win a single F1 race last year – the only driver from the top six to miss out – as he was thoroughly outperformed by teammate Lewis Hamilton who stormed to a fifth world title.

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While Bottas did suffer a combination of poor luck, reliability and team orders which arguably denied him wins in Azerbaijan, Austria and Russia, the Finn also missed out due to underperforming compared to Hamilton in key moments.

Looking for a fresh start in 2019, Bottas says he’s used the winter break to adjust his mental preparation by aiming to have no regrets throughout the season regardless of the situations he faces.

“I’ve looked into many things from last year and the year before,” Bottas said. “I just need to make sure within myself I am not going to waste any single opportunity whether it was for podiums or a race win.

“At every single race and situation I need to try to take the advantage on the others.

“I need to minimise the errors, I need to try to minimise all the situations that put me to thinking should I have done something different. I don’t want to be thinking about that after any race. So I want to take those opportunities.”

Bottas also accepts he’s under pressure at Mercedes to grab his opportunity at the reigning F1 world champions in 2019.

After two years with the German manufacturer, Bottas has a one-year contract, while the team holds a one-year extension option for 2020, but the Finn’s race seat is threatened by Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon who missed out on an F1 grid spot this season.

“I have time but I’m starting to realise you definitively only have one career, and I don’t want to be in that situation again, that I feel like that and I start question myself if I could have done something better,” he said.

“I just want to make sure that this year I’ll do everything I can to achieve those targets and I’m basically willing to do whatever it takes to make sure I achieve those goals.

“I’m just mentally prepared for the whole year, but it all comes down to details, in this sport. I just have to be the best that I can. I know I can do it and now it’s just hard work to be up there more consistently.”



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