Lewis Hamilton was in a 1v2 battle during the Australian Grand Prix, with both the Ferrari cars breathing down his neck, as Bottas’ crash meant that he couldn’t leverage the one lap speed of the new Mercedes W09 during qualifying on Saturday.
With both Red Bull and Ferrari making significant upgrades to their car for the 2018 season, Hamilton believes that it is more than necessary for Bottas to step up his game in order to help Hamilton compete with the drivers of both Red Bull and Ferrari.
“It was one against two,” said Hamilton.
“And it’s not easy to fight against a team that has two cars in the mix as one team with one.” he added.
However, Hamilton is convinced and confident that Bottas will recover from that crash in Australia, and has the required ammunition and desire to be competing for the top spot in the upcoming grand prix.
Lewis also spoke about how Ferrari look all the more threatening this season with Kimi driving like the old days.
“We’ll work together, Valtteri will be working very hard to make sure he’s up there in the mix and fight with us as well. He’s going to be fighting for wins, for sure, it won’t always be as it is today.
“But last year it was important to have both cars up there, maybe now it’s even more important than ever before. Especially with Red Bull being there and both Ferraris now Kimi [Raikkonen] is all of a sudden driving really well, which is great to see.” the Brit said.
Bottas isn’t reading too much into his ‘mistake’ in qualifying and is looking forward to a productive and satisfying weekend in Bahrain.
“I think something I learned last year [is] you need to learn from every mistake but there’s a limit [to] how much you need to beat yourself up,” he added, “because there’s a race always in one or two weeks again and you need to be at your best mental and physical shape.
“I tried to maximise [the race], this was the result but I’m not panicking about it,” he added. “It’s just one race out of 21, long year ahead.” Bottas said