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Bottas with big goals in 2018: No games with Hamilton

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Valtteri Bottas with big goals
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D he is the first test week on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya heavily influenced by cold weather. After two and a half days of testing, no driver has completed more laps than Valtteri Bottas. 58 on Monday followed 94 on Tuesday. Together they do 152 laps or over 707 kilometers. Two second places adorn the balance sheet. Alongside Sebastian Vettel, the Finn is the only driver who has cracked the 1:20 mark so far.

Bottas feels better prepared

However, there was no great learning effect. So far, Bottas only drove with soft tires and with the medium. It takes a few laps for the drivers to even get the tires to work. “These tires are not made for the cold. They are far too cold at the corner entrance. It's not much better at the apex. You don't get the temperature until you exit the bend. ”And on the next straight stretch, the rubbers cool down again. “In these circumstances, one must be careful about drawing conclusions. My general feeling is that so far I have not been able to identify any weak points in the car. ”

However, Formula 1 cars are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. At 20 degrees asphalt temperature, the vehicle balance could be quite different. Although the weather didn't play along, the first rounds of practice weren't complete for the bin. “We got through our aerodynamics tests. And we have already tried a few mechanical solutions. That gave us a few answers that we can trust to a large percentage. ”

Bottas is entering his seventh Formula 1 season. It will be the second for Mercedes. The man from Nastola feels better prepared than last year. The batteries are charged. “In contrast to last winter, I had a break. That helps the head. I no longer have to get to know the team and the way they work. We can immediately focus on the performance. The details make the difference. Last year I came to the seat rehearsal, hopped in the car and that was it. This year is different. I know how the engineers work in the factory and on the track. This will help me. I want to start stronger and end the season better. '

' Everyone is keen on my cockpit '

In 2017 Bottas won three races in Russia, Austria and Abu Dhabi. This season there should be more. The big goal is the world championship. For this he wants to concentrate on himself. He rejects mind games. “Every driver has weaknesses.Lewis too. But there is no point in looking too much at him. If I do what I expect from myself, I'll be strong, ”says Bottas.

To instigate small wars within one's own team would also not suit the character of the Finn. And it would certainly not be helpful in contract negotiations either. As in 2017, Bottas is fighting for a new deal this year. “Mercedes has been the best team in Formula 1 for years. Everyone is keen on my cockpit. I just have to make the best of every opportunity. ”

Compared to last year, the 28-year-old was involved in the development of the car this time. This enabled him to tailor it better to his driving style. “In 2017 I sometimes had to drive setups that weren't to my taste. I had to adapt my driving style to it. This year we have a different car. Hopefully it will be easier for me to drive it. ”One of the weak points that Bottas identified:“ Last year, I was particularly good on tracks with smooth asphalt. This year I have to get better on tracks that have rough asphalt. ”

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