Bottas: 'Everyone starting from zero again in 2018'

Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes F1 Team

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas says he's looking forward to getting back in the car after the long winter break.

He added that his second season with the team will give him a brand new chance to show what he can do behind the wheel.

"A new season full of opportunities," he told the official Mercedes website this week. "And my aim is to take those opportunities this year.

"I have one target, everyone knows what it is. I have learned massively in my five years in Formula 1, especially in 2017, so I have high targets.

"The team is working so hard on the car, and this year I have been able to follow that process," the Finn added. "Last year I joined and the car was ready.

"So, yeah, I'm looking forward to trying the new car," he said. "And then it is a new season. Everyone starts from zero!

"It is going to be a new season and we need to make the most of it."

While everyone might be expecting the world champions to pick up where they left off at the end of 2017, Bottas is taking nothing for granted.

"We have no idea where we are going to be," he insisted. "There are always unknowns in Formula 1 and mainly related to performance.

"For us as a team, we want to stay at the top," he agreed. "I am sure there are many teams that are willing to beat us. But, our will to stay at the top is hopefully bigger."

Bottas said that he'd tried to detach from Formula 1 over the winter to give himself a much needed break.

"It is always nice when I have a chance to properly relax and switch off," he said. "I managed to really disconnect well from Formula 1 and relax.

"It is really important, because nowadays the seasons are so long," he explained. "It is so hectic and we are focused on the job all the time. We go through a lot of pressure as drivers, like every team member does.

"It will always be important to have that time where you can actually do other stuff and collect the energy for the next season.

"I started training immediately after the start of the New Year," he added. "I have been training hard - and I am already so keen to get going again.

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