Bottas hatches ‘secret plan’ to dethrone F1 champ Hamilton next season - GulfToday

Bottas hatches ‘secret plan’ to dethrone F1 champ Hamilton next season


Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the pits during practice at the Jose Carlos Pace Circuit in Sao Paulo, which hosts the Brazilian Grand Prix. Reuters

 World champion Lewis Hamilton Mercedes’ teammate Valtteri Bottas  revealed to reporters on Thursday he has hatched a secret plan to dethrone Formula One king Lewis Hamilton next season.

Bottas said he would follow his instincts and focus on the areas where he believes he can overcome the Briton. The Finn, already condemned to the runners-up spot behind six-time champion Hamilton this year, explained ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix: “I have plans to find the different ways of how I want to achieve my goal, which is ultimately the championship.”

“I always prefer to do the talking on track and if I am able to keep up my performance and put all the energy I have into my performance, then that is best for me.

“If I can perform at the level I want, that normally upsets the other side of the garage a little bit and I know being on the other side as well it can lead you to mistakes.

“I have a plan for next year, but I am not willing to share it so we will find out.” Bottas said he had focused on his work with his race engineers and was satisfied with his progress, but recognised that he still had to eliminate some mistakes.

“Overall, it’s been my best so far in F1, but still not the season I am aiming for,” he said.

“I still need a bit more consistency and fewer mistakes, but the thing that gives me a good feeling, and confidence for the future, is really starting to see the work with the engineers and myself.”

Bottas has been Hamilton’s teammate for three years in which the Englishman has lifted the world title each time -- completing this season’s triumph in Texas two weekends ago with two races to spare.

Meanwhile, Hamilton says he intends to stay in Formula One beyond 2020 but added he wanted to know Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff’s personal plans before agreeing any new deal.

The six times world champion, like most of his rivals, is out of contract after next season with a major shakeup of the sport scheduled for 2021.

He recognised at the Brazilian Grand Prix, however, that he was “kind of joined at the hip” with Mercedes after seven years together.

There could also be change at the helm of Formula One post-2020 and Austrian Wolff has been talked of as someone who could play such a role.

“I know that being stuck in any position for too long can also not always be a positive so I always want people to spread their wings and do what’s best for their careers,” said Hamilton.

“I don’t know what that is for him (Wolff), only he will know,” added the Briton, who said Wolf has been “the perfect match” for him and Mercedes.

“Naturally I don’t want him to leave, particularly if I’m staying in the sport. It is important to me and I am waiting also to see where his head is at.”

Wolff is not in Brazil for Sunday’s penultimate race of the season, with Mercedes having already won both titles for an unprecedented sixth year in succession.

Hamilton clinched his sixth championship in Texas this month and will be aiming to equal Michael Schumacher’s record seven next year, when he will be 35 years old.

The Briton’s last contract negotiations were protracted and fans still speculate on whether he might end his career at Ferrari.

“I’ve obviously considered the next couple of years. I know that I want to continue racing, I love what I’m doing. I see no reason for me to stop any time soon,” Hamilton said.

“It’s almost like I only just did this contract and I’ve already got to start talking about the potential of the next one.


Related articles