“I try to avoid that negativity” – Valtteri Bottas is unbothered by comparisons with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, focusing on improving on a consistent basis.
Valtteri Bottas is unbothered by criticism for not competing aggressively against Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Speaking to Motorsport.com, he gave a befitting answer to “couch commentators” who don’t understand the depth of the sport.
“I try to avoid that negativity. They really motivate me quite a lot. I’ve learned a lot from myself not to try and let those kind of things affect me. I try to avoid that negativity. But no matter what you do, there’s always going to be negativity: sometimes less, sometimes more and it is the same with the criticism. But it’s a motivation to prove people wrong. No doubt.
“And I think I’ve said it before: sometimes I just don’t get why there is that kind of criticism. I guess there’s always a reason. But I don’t know that reason and again, I’m not in their position. So I’ve no idea what goes in their head. I think the people who really properly understand the sport and, look at details, and think of things in other people’s shoes or driver’s shoes, I think they understand.
“But there’s many, for sure, like, in any sport, there’s always couch commentators who might, you know, underestimate things.
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) January 15, 2021
Valtteri Bottas admits difficulty in competing against Lewis Hamilton
Crediting his teammate for being the champion he is, Bottas has admitted it to be a difficult task consistently challenging Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton is a joint-record seven-time world champion, compared to Bottas’ none so far.
The only other world champions on the grid currently are Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Kimi Raikkonen. The one-time winner with one-season team Brawn, Jenson Button, has joined another former team Williams as a senior advisor. He will be tasked with getting the iconic team close to their very best this decade.
“From my side, I can say that it’s not an easy job. If you look at the numbers, Lewis is the most successful driver in F1 history, and I need to go up against him with decent speed and consistency weekend after weekend. So yeah, it’s not an easy place to be.
“But that really motivates me, and that’s the goal for me to try and beat him. That will keep me going and that will keep me pushing myself again, hopefully to the next level.”