Bottas 'needs to change driving style'

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Malaysian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas had admitted that he needs to reconsider his driving style, following a number of disappointing race weekends for the Finn.

"In Singapore I didn't have Lewis' pace in either qualifying or the race," he said in Malaysia. "Together with the engineers we have analysed a lot.

"It looks as though my driving style does not fit so well with what the car needs," he conceded.

"So I still need to work with the team and on myself, but I am sure I will manage to do it.

"I just need to be better, and have less weekends struggling. The past few races I've had quite a difficult time in terms of pure pace, so I need to work harder.

"I think I need to win more races," he added. "That's what normally counts. We still have six races to go this season. I still have an opportunity to finish this year very strongly with many good results.

Bottas was forced to hit the ground running after being signed up by Mercedes at the late minute, following Nico Rosberg's decision to retire at the end of 2016.

Since then Bottas has picked up two pole positions and two race wins. His contract was renewed for 2018 earlier this month.

"This year, I had to learn a lot in a short time," he explained. "But next year will be a whole new feeling and a fresh start.

"There won't be as many things to get used to. I know how the team works, I know all the people and the car. That for sure took a lot of energy."

Even so, he's not been altogether happy with his performance in the last few races. It contrasts to that of his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who has surged into the lead of the drivers championship.

Bottas is currently in third place in the standings, but is now 51 points behind Hamilton. There has been speculation that he might be subjected to team orders for the rest of the season.

But Hamilton doesn't believe that Bottas will be required to be his 'wingman', and says that the the Finn will make his own calls in the remaining six races of 2017.

"Valtteri will make his own decisions in the situation, if he even feels that he is out of the title fight," Hamilton told Spain's Marca.

"Valtteri wants to beat me on the track as much as I want to beat him."

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