Valtteri Bottas feels he can be invincible occasions, but that these are too few…
Valtteri Bottas has reflected on his experience with Mercedes and believes that he is capable of being unrivaled at the front of the pack on occasion.
Bottas helped Mercedes to five successive Constructors’ Championships after five seasons with the team, but despite the power of his equipment, he never able to mount a truly solid Drivers’ Championship campaign.
Bottas won ten races in those five years, but he felt he had to be at his best all of the time, which he didn’t do as often as he would have liked.
“I honestly feel like on my best days, whether it’s a race or qualifying, I’m unbeatable. But unfortunately, I don’t always have the best days,” he told The Race.
“I can’t say that I exceeded any of my expectations. I have pretty high expectations for myself, personally. Maybe a bit too high.”
Bottas went on to remark that luck, in particular, played a significant role in the outcome of his championship fights.
“But I have to say in the five years, there’ve been moments that I don’t know if I should cry or laugh about my luck, because I don’t really feel like I’ve been the luckiest driver with many things,” he explained.
“And the same this year , like the beginning of the season, was pretty much a disaster with crashes and stuff, and then what felt like almost endless engine penalties.
“It just wasn’t quite meant to be so far.”
Bottas stated that, while his individual performances did not meet his expectations, they paled in contrast to Lewis Hamilton’s relentless pace and consistency.
During Bottas’ career, Hamilton won four of the five championships, with the Finn having to play a supporting role to his legendary teammate every season.
“I can’t say I exceeded anything. Where I feel like I failed, obviously I didn’t manage to win the Drivers’ Championship. But it wasn’t simple alongside Lewis. He always got the upper hand,” Bottas admitted.
“I feel like the ones who know about the sport and who follow the sport, they definitely acknowledge that I can be pretty fast on my day.
“The baseline level as a driver like Lewis is so high that it is quite tricky to outperform him all the time.
“It’s a very mental sport and I think a strength of Lewis is the consistency and rarely having any off weekends in terms of performance.
“If it varies it’s only marginal.”
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