Valtteri Bottas is ready to secure his maiden Formula 1 pole position and race victory ‘sooner rather than later’ as he continues his preparation for his first race with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
Having switched across from the Williams Martini Racing squad in place of the now-retired Nico Rosberg, Bottas feels ready to win his first Grand Prix, and believes the team are a much stronger outfit than when the outgoing World Champion joined Mercedes, where it took him two years for his first triumph.
“I’m ready for it today!” insisted Bottas on f1i.com. “Hopefully the car will good and hopefully that will be possible sooner rather than later.
“I think the team in theory should be in a different position to what it was when Nico joined the team. I think the team has grown up a lot since. It’s a stronger team than at that time.
“That’s what we’re hoping for this year as well and I definitely feel that during the four years as a race driver with Williams, fighting for podiums on many occasions in a good car, I’m definitely ready for poles and wins.”
Bottas admits joining Mercedes in January was far from ideal, as it left him a little behind the eight ball compared to team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but is confident heading into the new season that he has done everything possible to prepare himself.
“For sure it’s not an advantage, starting mid-January, with a new team,” said Bottas. “It was quite a late call but, like I said, I really feel that we have made the most out of the time that we had. I feel well prepared.
“Of course, starting earlier would have helped. We could have had double the time before the testing. But it’s what it is and we need to deal with it, basically.
“I’m confident that everything is sorted and ready but, again, mentioning one more time, that it’s going to be massively important to keep learning every day how the team operates.”