Valtteri Bottas has reason to believe that Mercedes will not implement team order from the start of the 2019 F1 season and he expects that both drivers will be treated equally.
The Finn had to endure a very frustrating end to his season last year, with team order at Mercedes being enforced in order to maximize teammate Lewis Hamilton’s chances in the hunt for a fifth world championship following Bottas losing eligibility in that particular fight.
Bottas felt the pain of such team orders especially at the Russian Grand Prix where he was asked to step aside and allow Hamilton to win, in the process also having to fend off a late attack from Sebastian Vettel for second place. This moment proved to be very important because Bottas ended up not getting a single win for the entirety of the season.
Intending to start from scratch in 2019, Valtteri says that Mercedes will not put either driver in a priority position at the start of the season but he is aware that if a similar situation to what happened last year occurs once more he will be at risk again.
“I have no concerns, because we have agreed something already a couple of years back and it’s going to be up to my performance,” Bottas said. “Obviously we’ll see how the season goes.
“Last year there was a big gap between Lewis and myself, then things were slightly different. It’s going to be up to me, so no concerns.
“My target for the year is to win as much as I can, I didn’t win a single race last year, and there is only one target for the whole season – the world championship – for me personally and also for us, as a team.”
Bottas is currently also under pressure from Esteban Ocon who is currently taking up the role of reserve F1 driver for Mercedes.
Foto-credit: Mercedes AMG F1
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