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Bottas disagrees with Hamilton over 2019 mindset

Bottas disagrees with Hamilton over 2019 mindset

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Bottas disagrees with Hamilton over 2019 mindset

Bottas disagrees with Hamilton over 2019 mindset

Valtteri Bottas says he feels a change in his mindset for 2019, disputing Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's suggestion that he remains the same driver as before. Bottas firmly put a winless 2018 behind him by dominating the season-opener in Australia a fortnight ago.

Although Hamilton was on pole in Melbourne, he failed to convert it into a win for the fourth year on the spin as Bottas beat him off the line and went on to secure a maximum 26 points thanks to putting in the fastest lap of the race.

The Finn says he was able to eat and train more normal in the off-season and returned for the season sporting a beard, as well as evident muscle gain – which Hamilton believed to be all that was new.

"He's motivated every year," Hamilton said. "I work with the guy. He's the same guy he was last year, so no difference for me - except he has a beard!

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"Time will tell I guess. I never thought he was a weak person anyway. I've always seen him as a strong character."

However, Bottas in fact believes that he has a new mental edge for the year ahead.

"If you look at the results, it's obviously very early in the season, it's one race, but I can for sure say that something in my mindset has changed for the year," he said ahead of the Bahrain GP.

"My preparation over the winter, and just the way I feel and think about things have changed. It's quite difficult to explain in detail but I feel different to years before."

Mercedes entered 2019 predicting they might struggle in comparison to Ferrari, but the red cars could not even make the podium in Melbourne, and Bottas is happy with how the W10 performed.

He said: "For sure every car is always a bit different and, in the end, you as a driver need to be the one that compensates yourself to the car, to get the most out of the package.

"But obviously in testing [and] in Melbourne everything started on the right foot.

"I never felt anything odd with the car. For sure, there's things we can improve but I feel comfortable in the car."

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