FEBRUARY 14, 2017
Bottas not settling for second place
Valtteri Bottas has confirmed reports that he had to split with his manager Toto Wolff before signing up with Mercedes for 2017.
Since making his F1 debut for Williams in 2013, the Finn has been managed by the now Mercedes chief.
But now that he is replacing reigning world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, Bottas and Wolff are assuming a strict driver-boss relationship instead.
"He is now my boss, but still a good friend," Bottas, 27, told Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspaper.
But he doubts that friendship will help him from now on.
"I have not been signed because I'm a nice guy," Bottas said, admitting that his one-year contract means "I have to deliver".
"I have to get the best out of the car."
He will be trying to do that alongside Lewis Hamilton, a triple world champion whose father Anthony recently described as a "career killer".
Indeed, Hamilton's 2016 teammate Rosberg did win the title, but he then promptly retired, partly citing the stresses of his intense battle with Hamilton.
Bottas, however, said he has "no problem" being paired with Hamilton, and in fact sees it as a "huge opportunity".
"It does not match my mentality to settle for second place," he insisted.
Referring to Anthony Hamilton's remarks, meanwhile, Bottas also said during a press conference in Stuttgart: "I do not believe that this year will be my career killer.
"It's a great chance for me to prove myself. I can drive cars fast and that will not just disappear. I have to trust myself," he added.
As for how Hamilton has welcomed him to Brackley, Bottas revealed: "He has welcomed me.
"I am looking forward to a good fight on the track with him, and getting to know him better -- as a person as well as a teammate."