Bottas 'will do anything it takes' to beat Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
© XPB 

The atmosphere between Mercedes drivers might be a lot more harmonious since Valtteri Bottas took over from Nico Rosberg last year, but the Finn has no intention of making things easy for his team mate Lewis Hamilton in 2018.

"For sure he is one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1," Bottas told ESPN this week. "[He's] a four-time world champion who's always on it.

"But I proved to myself a few times last year that I can do it and I can beat him.

"It's up to me to be performing well consistently all through the year," he added. "Not having those kinds of race weekends when I'm a couple of tenths off or something.

"I need to [perform] in all conditions: no matter what track, which temperature and which tarmac. I need to be there."

Bottas took four pole positions last year, and won three races in Russia, Austria and Abu Dhabi. He was only 12 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the final drivers standings - but over 50 behind Hamilton.

Bottas makes no secret of wanting to win the world championship above all else.

"I think everyone knows that," he said. "For sure every driver wants to be world champion, but I am so hungry for it. I'm ready to do anything it takes."

But Bottas says that "anything it takes" won't extend to the off-track psychological tactics employed by Rosberg in 2016.

"Normally my style is not to mess with other people's things," he said. "I tend to focus on my performance and getting the most out of myself and the team around me.

"I'm not planning to change anything of what I do," he continued. "I believe if I perform consistently from race one then for sure we can have a bit more of a challenge with Lewis on track.

"Even though something would change, I can't see any issues of why we wouldn't be able to work together in the team.

"I just tend not to deal with that stuff. I just want to focus on my performance and that will hopefully get me further.

"Even though the harmony is there, I don't see that it is making Lewis a better driver. I think he's always on it."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

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