Bottas: No 'benefit' to playing mind games with Hamilton

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Valtteri Bottas says he'll never resort to playing mind games with Lewis Hamilton, insisting that such a tactic against his Mercedes teammate would only result in a waste of energy.

Bottas has finished runner-up to Hamilton in world championship in the past two seasons, and while the Finn has regularly given his teammate a run for his money, he has never succeeded in sustainably gaining an edge.

Since Mercedes kicked off its hegemonic domination of F1 in 2014, only Nico Rosberg has beaten Hamilton to the title, a feat achieved in 2016.

The German often alludes to his efforts to out-psych the Briton off the racetrack just enough to throw him off his game on occasion, a ploy that Rosberg believes paid dividends on occasion.

It's been suggested that Bottas should attempt to do the same, but the nine-time Grand Prix winner believes there would be little to gain from resorting to such a stratagem. Indeed, it could even back fire.

"Along the way, there’s been many people suggest I change to be a Nico Rosberg," Bottas told Autosport.

But I’m not a Nico Rosberg. I much prefer to do the talking on track and race fair. I have also been able to get to know Lewis, and I know that there’s no benefit of trying to play with his mind.

"I’m sure it would be annoying for him, but it would be wasting my energy. And I think he will be getting even more pissed off and drive faster.

"So I think the way I’m doing things, that’s how I want to win. That is my aim."

Bottas believes a fully transparent attitude on both sides of the garage, free of any conflicts or intrigue, remains the best approach, both for the team and its drivers.

"I think that the strength we have in the team is definitely that we can work as a team," he said. "We can for sure race hard, but we can also leave it there.

"And we know the fact that if we can work together, that’s how the team is going to benefit in the end.

"So there’s not going to be any hiding of setups or data or anything. And the team spirit in team sports is underestimated.

"I think it’s really important that you keep the motivation up, and no conflicts."

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