It was a difficult year for Valtteri Bottas, psychologically, precisely who has failed to win a single Grand Prix in last season’s championship with Mercedes while Lewis Hamilton has clinched his fifth Formula One world title at Mexico Grand Prix by 11 victories, to equal with the great Juan Manuel Fangio in terms of world titles won.
Something never happened with Nico Rosberg when he raced alongside with the Brit in their three years together racing for championship leaders Mercedes, one of the most popular teammates as rivals, the German at least used to win Grands Prix until he won his first and last F1 world title before he surprisingly announced his retirement aged just 31. However, there is an old saying in Formula 1 says: "the first driver you want to beat is your teammate.” So, what’s going on then with Bottas even though Toto Wolff believes that “Bottas and Hamilton are both “alpha” drivers and both of them want to attempt to win the world championship, neither of them are slotted in as a No 2.
The winless Finn in last year's campaign has helped the team to obey their desire (team orders) in order to aid his teammate Hamilton in Russia to reinforce his points for sake team, plus, failed another likely win in Azerbaijan due to sharp debris caused him a late puncture while leading. What a heartbroken moment it was indeed!
Bottas is optimistic for the new season as he was interviewed and has published on Mercedes' official website. He said: "I am very happy to start a new season, because for me personally, 2018 did not go the way I wanted to,"
"There was quite a bit of criticism at some stages of 2018, but that's actually been a positive thing for me because it's given me an extra boost.
"I've taken all the points I can learn from last year to come back stronger.
"And I also found many positives, which I maybe didn't see at the end of the year, but now digging deep I can see those.
"I can build on all of that for 2019."
"I am excited that everyone starts with zero points," said Bottas who ended the year with consecutive fifth-place in the las 4 Grands Prix which made him to finish fifth place in the drivers’ standings.
"We are all on the same line and 2019 can bring anything, that's exciting.
"It's going to be a new season ahead and I'm going to put everything I have for this year, all in.
The Finn has talked about the new regulation this season saying: "With some regulation changes there are always question marks, but I can guarantee everyone has been doing and will be doing everything they can for the new car."