Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
WValtteri Bottas of Finland has eyes forward this season, his first in Formula One, as he drives what he says is an improving Williams car.
WValtteri Bottas of Finland has eyes forward this season, his first in Formula One, as he drives what he says is an improving Williams car.

Formula One Q&A: Valtteri Bottas feels that he is improving every race

Valtteri Bottas, the 23-year-old Williams driver, takes some time to talk to our reporter, Gary Meenaghan, at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas, the 23-year-old Williams driver, is yet to score a point in his rookie season in F1, but as his team struggle, Bottas has every confidence things will improve.


q. How do you rate the season so far, from a personal viewpoint?

a. You always want to do better. It has been not bad. I can only compare myself to Pastor [Maldonado, his teammate], which so far has gone very well. One thing I need to work on is qualifying, though, because he is very good.


Compared to last season when Pastor won in Barcelona, the car is clearly struggling. How confident are you things will improve and how good can the car be by the end of the season?

It hasn't been the best start for us and is definitely not where we want to be. But it's not going to improve in one day or one week - it will take time. I really hope that by the second half of the season, we can get consistently into the top 10. That has to be the aim.


Last year, you took part in 15 practice sessions. What has been the biggest difference since inheriting the race seat?

You always have to look at the bigger picture now and the set-up of the car, the qualifying, that kind of thing. Yes, I am driving a lot more this season, but I am a lot busier out of the car, too. It kind of makes everything go much faster, so I prefer it this way. Also, because of the length of the races, in Melbourne a lot of strange muscles got sore - muscles you don't even know exist.


There are five rookies in the field this year, but expectations were arguably highest for you. Did that create an extra level of pressure?

No, it's nice if people have high expectations for me, because I do also. I really want to do well. Getting into F1, though, people need to remember that it is not so easy to be consistently in the top five. Unless you have a car capable of winning races, it is going to be very tough. You are racing against the world's best drivers and I still have a lot to learn. I do feel, though, that I am getting better and better.


Is it true your coaches told you to ease off on your training schedule because you were pushing yourself too hard?

Yeah, that's correct. Last year, I did so little actual driving, I could train a lot and push hard. Now though, I am learning that it is more about a big push in January and February and then just maintaining that level of fitness throughout the rest of the season. It's a new approach, but I'm adapting.




twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE and @gmeenaghan @gmeenaghan

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Players such as George Springer are a sign that things are starting to swing in the Houston Astros' favour. But more help is needed. Scott Halleran / AFP

Houston Astros are still earth-bound but help is on the way

As harbingers of a new era go, the Houston Astros could have done worse than misspelling their new phenom’s name on his major-league debut.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inpire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National