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Bottas: I need to raise my game in 2018

Valtteri Bottas

London, December 1: Valtteri Bottas know he must up his game if he is to challenge Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton for the Formula One title next season.

Bottas made the move to Mercedes ahead of the 2017 campaign following the shock retirement of world champion Nico Rosberg.

The Finn claimed his first race win in Russia but only recorded another two across the remaining 16 grands prix – including the final weekend in Abu Dhabi.

With 305 points, Bottas had to settle for third in the drivers' standings, trailing Sebastian Vettel by 12 and eventual champion Hamilton by 58.

After settling in at the Silver Arrows, Bottas now hopes to push on in 2018 and be a title contender.

"I need to raise my game," he told a Petronas event in Kuala Lumpur. "I need to be performing better on average.

"I had some really good periods where I was performing well and being consistent, but I also had periods where I wasn't performing as well as I should have.

"I need to attack those issues. I need to learn every single thing I can from 2017, which I'm sure I will by working hard over the winter with the team, and then I want to be a better, more complete, driver. Whatever that brings next year, we'll find out."

In the races where Bottas did struggle, he chose to focus on the positives and how his driving style has improved.

He added: "There were many races where I did struggle, and I didn't perform at the level I wanted and the level I had to be at if I was going to fight for the title.

"But from those tricky races, I've learned massively. I think Abu Dhabi, and qualifying in Sao Paulo before that, was confirmation that I had learned a lot from those tricky races."

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Friday, December 1, 2017, 0:00 [IST]
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