Valtteri Bottas concedes he made a “few mistakes” during the year which cost him in his championship fight with Lewis Hamilton.
“A couple of qualifying [sessions] I messed up in Q3, definitely, which cost me starting position for the race and compromised the race, and I lost points because of that.”
Bottas led the championship after four races following victories in Melbourne and Baku. But Hamilton won the next four races in a row and was never headed by his team mate in the points again.
A crash for Bottas in Germany and first-lap collision in Hungary boosted Hamilton’s points lead before the summer break. However he doesn’t believe luck played a role in deciding the outcome of their title fight.
“Luck, [bad] luck, whatever, has been pretty even for me and Lewis overall. He’s just been on a great level again this year, every single race.
“I’ve not been able to be at my very, very best every single race. But [I have] much more often than ever before, so the direction is clear for me in terms of my development overall.”
Bottas has already scored more points this season than in any other season in his career and his win on Sunday means he cannot be beaten to second in the drivers’ championship, his best result to date.
“It’s good momentum now,” he said. “In terms of race pace, which has been my weakness in the years before, I’ve made huge gains by working really hard with the engineers [on] every single detail of my driving and set-up.
“That’s getting better and that gives me really confidence for next year and, unlike at the end of last year, now I really look forward to the year ahead, and I’m already excited to start the next season and start from fresh.”
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2019 F1 season
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- Kvyat: Hockenheim podium last year was “my biggest achievement” so far
- How the FIA’s new encrypted fuel flow meter targets Ferrari’s suspected ‘aliasing’ trick
- “He smashed my office door”: 23 must-see moments from ‘Drive to Survive’ season two
- ‘I should have done a better job. There’s things that I know I can do better’