Valtteri Bottas won’t be engaging in mind games with his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport teammate Lewis Hamilton, preferring instead to focus on his own weaknesses and not “wasting energy” trying to get into the minds of others.
This will be the Finnish driver’s second season with the team, having joined from Williams Martini Racing for the 2017 season to replace then-World Champion Nico Rosberg. Clearly the second-best driver on the team last year, he hopes that, by focusing on himself and not playing mind games with others, he can be closer to Hamilton in 2018.
“Every driver has weaknesses but rather than focus on him I am going to spend my energy focusing on myself and my performance on track,” said Bottas to Autosport.
“If perform on the level I’m aiming to I hope that will do the job. I am not going to start wasting my energy on any games.”
Rather than playing mind games with Bottas, Hamilton has instead been trying to play mind games with Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. The Brit said earlier this week that he hopes Vettel is “at his best“ so when he beats him, it’s even more “painful” for the German.
As for his plans for the year, Bottas said the aim is to win the World Championship, and he reiterated that mind games won’t bring him any closer to that.
“For me, if I perform at the level that I aim to perform, I hope to see more on-track battles with Lewis. I just really want to win as many races as I can to try and win the championship. That’s the goal and I don’t need to change anything else to do that. I’m not going to start playing any mental games or anything like this.”
Bottas finished in front of Hamilton in eight of the twenty races last season, though ended the season fifty-eight points behind Champion Hamilton.