Valtteri Bottas has suggested he will adopt a more assertive approach as he looks to mount a credible Formula 1 title challenge in 2021.

Since joining Mercedes in 2017, the Finn hasn’t been a consistent threat to teammate Lewis Hamilton in the same way Nico Rosberg was.

Sebastian Vettel was Hamilton’s nearest challenger in Bottas’ first two years with Mercedes but in 2019 and 2020, he was unable to mount a serious title bid despite starting both seasons strongly. 

With a fifth season alongside Hamilton coming up in 2021, Bottas knows he can't leave any stone unturned if he is going to take it all the way in the title race.

 “Yes, this year I’m demanding more from myself than ever,” Bottas said. “Obviously, without overdoing things but the ultimate goal for this season is that when I get to the last race, in Abu Dhabi, that I can look back and say that I did 100 per cent, I did every single bit to win the title – that’s the ultimate goal for this season.

“And that’s the same for all the people around me, whoever I’m working with. I’ll demand as much as I feel I need to, to get the support and the information that I need. Maybe, that way I can be a bit more selfish, but one year in a lifetime, giving it everything that you have is actually a short time and that’s the kind of mindset that I have. That’s including me and people around me.”

Bottas maintains his only goal for 2021 is to challenge for the F1 drivers' title. 

“I have to be self-honest with everything and try to find a good way, heading into every single grand prix,” Bottas added. “But that’s the tricky part and it’s the same in every sport. There’s never been any sportsperson that has got 100 per cent out of themselves in every single event they’ve done, but I need to get there more often – that’s the question. 

“And, for this year, although Lewis has won all the titles since we’ve been teammates, going into this year we’re starting from fresh and with a new page, yes, I absolutely believe I can fight for the title and that’s of course, the ultimate goal this season. Yes, that’s my target, but it’s a long way until that and you need to really take it step by step.”



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