Bottas ignores low rating given by F1 team bosses

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Malaysian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Despite his third place finish in the championship this season, Valtteri Bottas was only rated as the tenth best driver by F1's team bosses, but the Finn shrugs off the poll.

The Mercedes driver clinched three wins in 2017, the first in his five-year F1 career. Yet, his achievement failed to impress team bosses who placed him one spot lower than in 2016 when he drove for Williams.

"There’s always all kind of polls and stuff," said Bottas, speaking at the end-of-season FIA prize giving event in Paris yesterday.

"I don’t really think about it, if I‘m under-rated or things like that. Really what matters is how I perform on track: how many races I will be able to win in the future.

"The main thing is within the team, that they know exactly my level of performance, that they know what I‘m capable of doing."

In addition to his trio of wins, the last of which was at the last race in Abu Dhabi, Bottas also collected three pole positions and 13 podium finishes.

Bottas admits his mid-year slump led to a final result which did not meet his own expectations, but the 28-year-old will taking into next year the lessons learned from 2017.

"I think as a driver I’ve definitely learned a lot. I’ve felt that sometimes I had quite a hard lesson, I really struggled in some races with the car and my driving," said Bottas.

"I really have to work on many of the issues and learn from those and get better. I think out of all the seasons I’ve had in Formula 1, this is the one where I’ve learnt the most."

The paddock's perception of Bottas as a good lieutenant rather than a leading general doesn't bother him as he sets his sights on raising his game in 2018.

"I know that this will be up to me," he said.

"We are able to race Lewis with equal machinery and equal terms, we are going to be allowed to race on the track so it’s up to me.

"If I can perform in qualifying, and well in the races pace-wise and in racing situations, then I can fight for the title if we have a good car."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter