Valtteri Bottas: I know I can beat Lewis Hamilton

By Sports Desk December 04, 2019

Valtteri Bottas insists he has what it takes to beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who is celebrating a sixth Formula One world title.

Mercedes, who have won a record six consecutive drivers' and constructors' title doubles, are expected to be front-runners again in 2020.

That is the last year before new technical regulations come in for 2021, and Bottas, having finished behind Hamilton in all three of his seasons with the German manufacturer, is eager to pose a more consistent challenge to the Briton.

Bottas finished 87 points behind Hamilton this year but feels the four race wins and five pole positions he earned over the season proved he has what it takes.

"For 2020, there are no major regulation changes in Formula One so that means I think it will be even closer competition with many teams," Bottas said in quotes to Sky Sports at a PETRONAS event to celebrate the team's 2019 campaign.

"Other teams, drivers, will play a part in the fight as well but obviously Lewis always is a difficult driver to beat. 

"But I've been able to do it at times so I know I can do it."

The grid could have a very different look to by the time 2021 arrives, not least because Hamilton has been linked with a stunning move to Ferrari.

Now only one win away from Michael Schumacher's record of seven drivers' titles, Hamilton stressed it is key to appreciate the successes already achieved rather than look too far ahead.

"It's really, really important always to just be grateful for what I have at the moment," he said.

"Of course, we'll be in search for another championship, but in this sport you never know when that could be.

"It could be next year, it could be years. Some people don't even have one, so it's really important to be grateful for what we have."

Of the challenge ahead of him in 2020, Hamilton added: "Next year I think will be similar to this year. 

"However, I think the competition is probably going to step up. You have seen this year McLaren have picked up, Red Bull have picked up their pace, you have seen some more teams are coming into the spot. 

"It's a little bit easier to chase than it is to lead."

Related items

  • Carlos Sainz wins third Dakar Rally at 57 Carlos Sainz wins third Dakar Rally at 57

    Carlos Sainz added another Dakar Rally title to his glittering CV on Friday, winning the event for the third time at the age of 57.

    The rally legend had previously triumphed in 2010 and 2018 and led from the third stage this year.

    He finished six minutes and 21 seconds ahead of defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah.

    Fernando Alonso, making his debut at the event, finished in 13th. 

    The two-time Formula One world champion was among those to pay tribute to the two-time World Rally champion, posting a video of him congratulating Sainz on his Instagram page.

    Sainz's son, Carlos Sainz Jr, wrote of his father on Twitter: "3 Dakars, 3 different brands, 57 years, same passion, same desire, same motivation. 

    "The pride I feel as a son right now is very difficult to explain so I can't think of anything else to say. You're the p*** amo! [the best]."

    On his own Twitter page, Sainz hailed co-driver Lucas Cruz, posting: "CHAMPIONS! This 3rd Dakar has been very hard but we have enjoyed it!

    "I'm still having fun, and we've been on the attack every day. Great @LucasCruz74 and thank you all for your support these weeks."

  • Fernando Alonso drives without windshield after big Dakar Rally crash Fernando Alonso drives without windshield after big Dakar Rally crash

    Fernando Alonso is determined to make up ground at the Dakar Rally after suffering a significant crash on Wednesday.

    Alonso's vehicle was without a windshield after dramatically flipping down a sand dune at high speed.

    The two-time Formula One world champion continued driving without a windshield after an incident which halted him for over an hour. 

    "All good and ready!! Looking forward to recovering ground," Alonso wrote on Instagram ahead of Thursday's resumption of the race.

    Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma finished Wednesday's stage 10 in 55th position out of the 64 runners, one hour and 17 minutes off the pace.

    They are faring better in the overall standings, though, sitting in 14th place. 

    Stage 10 came to an early halt after organisers halted proceedings 345km into the day's racing due to strong winds.

  • Ferrari star Leclerc vows no repeat of Vettel crash Ferrari star Leclerc vows no repeat of Vettel crash

    Charles Leclerc has vowed there will be no repeat of the incident that saw him crash with Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Brazil.

    The pair collided in the penultimate grand prix of the 2019 Formula One season as their long-running rivalry came to a head in an embarrassing incident for the Scuderia, with both drivers forced to retire.

    Team principal Mattia Binotto insisted the air had been cleared and Leclerc ​– who in December signed fresh terms until 2024 – is confident the pair can use their competitive nature to positive effect this season.

    "We are extremely competitive and sometimes on track we might have some frictions," Leclerc told Autosport.

    "But in the end we are mature enough to know that what happened on track is on track and off it we are different.

    "The most important thing is we work together well off track to develop the car in the best way possible and of course not exceed the limits when we are on track like we have seen in Brazil.

    "But I think it was a good lesson for both of us and it won't happen again."

    Leclerc, 10 years Vettel's junior, finished 24 points ahead of his team-mate in the standings last season.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.