Valtteri Bottas admits he might be taking a more selfish approach in 2021 as he is going to be demanding more from himself and the team around him than ever before.
The Finn has won nine races in his time at Mercedes so far, with six of them coming in the past two seasons as he has finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on both occasions. Despite that, he has never sustained a season-long title challenge and with new regulations being introduced in Formula 1 in 2022 that could upset the competitive order, Bottas says he will be asking more of his team this year.
“This year I’m demanding more from myself than ever,” Bottas said. “Obviously without overdoing things but the ultimate goal for this season is that when I get to the last race in Abu Dhabi, that I can look back and say that I did 100 percent, I did every single bit to win the title — that’s the ultimate goal for this season.
“And that’s the same for all the people around me, whoever I’m working with. I’ll demand as much as I feel I need to, to get the support and the information that I need. Maybe, that way I can be a bit more selfish, but one year in a lifetime, giving it everything that you have is actually a short time and that’s the kind of mindset that I have. That’s including me and people around me.”
While Bottas insists he has total belief that he can win a championship while up against Hamilton and wants to get the better of his teammate over a season, he says he will have no regrets as long as he feels he performs to the best of his abilities.
“Of course, in a way, it would be disappointing because I’ve been teammates with Lewis for several years now and obviously every year that is the goal. But what would be more disappointing would be if I looked back and realized things that I could have done better or put (in) more effort, if and if. I don’t want to leave any ifs or what-ifs after this year. I think that’s the ultimate goal.
“If I give everything I have, if I maximize myself and the people around me and give absolutely everything I have then there are no regrets. If it’s not with Lewis, what I am fighting or winning titles, I haven’t really thought that far. I am just putting full focus on this season and then obviously we see after.”