Valtteri Bottas did not quite have the best of seasons in 2018, as he finished the entire year without a race win.
While he did start off the year strongly, somehow, somewhere, Bottas lost the plot, and then was later used as a wingman for Hamilton, so as to help the Brit secure the world title as soon as possible.
Those wingman duties sapped the confidence out of Bottas and he was never the same driver again this season.
Now, with Ocon hired in as the reserve driver for the 2019 season, Villeneuve believes that Bottas could end up losing his 2019 seat to Ocon.
“I think there is a possibility that Bottas will be replaced by Esteban Ocon during the 2019 season,” Villeneuve told Sky Italia.
Bottas though has quashed rumours of any pressure from Ocon and knows what his role will be next season and how he needs to manage things.
He knows what his targets are, as they have been laid out pretty well by the team.
“No, it’s not a concern,” Bottas said.
“People are always talking and, for sure, every driver wants to move on with their own career, they want to grab the opportunities.
“But it’s not my job to worry about that, it’s only going to hurt me.
“I have a very good relationship with every team member here, including Toto [Wolff], and we can always speak openly about anything, so there’s nothing being hidden.
“If I meet my targets and the targets the team has for me next year, that’s good. If I don’t and if the team feels I’m not performing well enough, then it’s fair enough.
“It’s how the sport goes, so I’m not worried.” he added
Bottas had a forgetful season this time round but is confident that he has identified areas that he needs to work on and will try and rectify all his mistakes during the winter.
“I need to have a look at everything from this season and in every race weekend there are things you can do better,” he said
“I cannot say it was just one thing [to improve] but we’ll have a better look at everything and talk with the team about it.
“Then I’ll need to decide what will be the main points, because there are many things and we’re limited with time and with what you can process at once. That’s the plan for the winter.
“From a season like this you just have to learn and try to forget, but this is definitely a season that will make me a tougher person and driver for the future.” he concluded.