Valtteri Bottas says his victory at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix was his standout moment from the 2019 Formula 1 season.

The Mercedes driver made a winning start to the campaign by beating teammate Lewis Hamilton to victory in Melbourne, having overtaken Hamilton into Turn 1 and turned in a dominant drive.

Bottas claimed a further three victories in Azerbaijan, Japan and the United States and took five pole positions in what marked his strongest season in F1 to date as he ended the year runner-up in the championship.

After enduring a winless 2018 campaign, Bottas felt Australia was a particularly important moment for him that revitalised his confidence. The Finn’s performances across the season resulted in Mercedes extending his deal by another year until the end of 2020.

Asked for his personal high point of the season, Bottas replied: “I still say the first race of year, in Australia.

“After a tricky season before that and to start the season like that it was exactly what I needed for my confidence and general well-being and that was the best moment.”

Despite Bottas’ most successful season to date, he acknowledged he still has improvements to make if he is to seriously challenge Hamilton for the title in 2020. The Briton achieved eight wins more than Bottas in 2019 and stormed to his sixth world championship with a whopping 87-point margin.

“I need more consistency over the season,” Bottas admitted.

“Lewis has always been there, performing at his top level every single qualifying and race - I’ve been there most of the time, but not every single race weekend.

“I need to find the balance on everything and need to find ways to be at my best more often and I’m sure I can find it, somehow.

“As a driver I’m sure there are many things I can do better and learn and improve from this year, which I will be working a lot on it over the winter. I’m sure I can improve more for next year.

“It is really learning from all the mistakes I made this year, looking at every detail of why I did certain mistakes, what caused them and how to avoid them. I’m sure I can figure it out. I have good confidence from this season.”

 

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