Bottas knows "final step" to beat Hamilton

Alex Kalinauckas

Bottas finished second to Hamilton in 2019 – the best championship result of his F1 career so far – but although he showed strong form in the early and late parts of the campaign, a dip in the middle part of the season cost him in the title fight.

When asked what he needs to do to finally get ahead of Hamilton in 2020, Bottas, who scored four wins, five poles, 11 other podiums in 2019, said: "It's quite clear in my mind.

"We're definitely [working] with the engineers and with the team on my development programme.

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"Things we're really focusing on [is] the race week and for my performance that final step I need is consistency.

"Still more adaptability to different circumstances [as well] but the main thing is minimising mistakes.

"There were some qualifying sessions where I made mistakes and that compromised the Sunday and then there was some races where I made mistakes, for example, Hockenheim, I lost a big chunk of points there so [it's about] trying to get rid of those.

"There's still a lot I feel I can improve. It's fine details here and there, a lot related to driving style and tyre management. But it's a whole lot better than last year.

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"Minimising those mistakes, being able to find [the right] mental state that [means] I will be able to perform at my best every single weekend – that's the tricky part. Like in any sport.

"It feels like I have to dig very deep to find anything more from my side – how I can be a better driver, how I can perform better, how I can work better with engineers.

"It definitely keeps me working hard because it's just not easy to beat him. And it requires a lot. That's pushing me on every single day.

"I would really struggle to accept it, that some other driver can do something that I can't.

"I accept it completely that Lewis won the title [in 2019] because overall during the season he was better than me. He beat me fair and square.

"But I believe there's always something that I can do better and I can fix those weaknesses. Maybe I'm a bit more stubborn."

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