‘I’m Not A Nico Rosberg’: Valtteri Bottas On His Rivalry With Lewis Hamilton

Some F1 pundits and fans have suggested that Valtteri Bottas should take a leaf out of Nico Rosberg’s book if he really wants to take the fight to Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas - Formula1news.co.uk

Valtteri Bottas has defended his decision not to use mind games and other underhand tactics in a bid to get the edge over his Mercedes team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton.

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Specifically, he said he is “not a Nico Rosberg” and insisted he prefers to play fair and instead focus on improving his on-track performance.

“I think that the strength we have in the team is definitely that we can work as a team,” Bottas told Autosport.

“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.”

Continuing, the Finn said: “I think it’s really important that you keep the motivation up, and [have] no conflicts.

“Of course, along the way, there’s been many people suggest I change to be a Nico Rosberg. 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.

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“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.”

Sir Lewis Hamilton comfortably won the 2020 Drivers’ Championship despite missing the penultimate race of the season after testing positive for COVID-19, while Bottas finished second, 124 points adrift of his team-mate.

Bottas scored just nine points more than third-placed Max Verstappen, who won the final round of the season.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff recently fired back at critics of Bottas, emphasising that the Finn was a victim of bad luck throughout the season.

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