Bottas takes 'extra boost' for 2019 F1 season from criticism he got in 2018
Under-fire Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas feels the criticism he received in the 2018 F1 season has worked positively which has given him an 'extra boost' for 2019.
Bottas started his second year with Mercedes on a fine note as he was neck and neck with teammate Lewis Hamilton. However, his luck changed course from Azerbaijan GP onward as he twice lost out from a winning position to eventually end up fifth in the standings.
Not only he finished lower than 2017, he could not score any race wins as well when Hamilton took his fifth world championship. With Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon out of a drive, the calls were huge for Bottas to be replaced for 2019.
However, the management decided to stick with the Finn with Ocon sitting at sidelines but with a good chance to be slotted into the race team anytime. As teams and drivers now prepare for the 2019 season, Bottas visited the Mercedes factory this week.
The Finn has much to prove - while under pressure - but the Finn reckons the criticism he received for his performances in the 2018 F1 season is working positively for him after he has had time to reflect on things and feels it has given him an extra boost.
"I am excited that everyone starts with zero points," he said. "We are all on the same line and 2019 can bring anything, that's exciting. It's going to be a new season ahead and I'm going to put everything I have for this year, all in. I'm sure it's going to be interesting.
"I am very happy to start a new season, because for me personally 2018 did not go the way I wanted to. There was quite a bit of criticism at some stages of 2018, but that's actually been a positive thing for me because it's given me an extra boost.
"I've taken all the points I can learn from last year to come back stronger. And I also found many positives, which I maybe didn't see at the end of the year, but now digging deep I can see those. I can build on all of that for 2019."
The Finn has already had a competitive outing in 2019 when he made his rally debut in the Artic Lapland Rally where he finished fifth overall driving a Ford Fiesta WRC car and also had a stage win to his name after returning from a holiday in South America.
Meanwhile, talking about the performance of the F1 cars, Bottas said the usual as there are 'question marks' with certain rules and regulation changes in place for the 2019 season. The W10 will be revealed on February 13 with a shakedown planned at Silverstone circuit.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]