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Bottas ready to be 'the villain' in 2019

Bottas ready to be 'the villain' in 2019

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Bottas ready to be 'the villain' in 2019

Bottas ready to be 'the villain' in 2019

A bullish Valtteri Bottas says he is determined to beat Lewis Hamilton in 2019. The Finn was disappointed with his performance last year, as he failed to win a single race, and could reportedly lose his place at Mercedes for 2020 to team reserve Esteban Ocon.

Bottas turned up to pre-season testing in Barcelona sporting a new beard, and admits that his new look is a signal of his intention to turn things around in 2019.

"I did not shave in the winter, I liked how it looks and it fits with what I want to convey," he is quoted as saying at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Bottas said he told himself after last season: "This will never happen again".

"I'm ready to do what's necessary this year to achieve my goals, and if I have to work harder in some places, that's part of it," he added.

Many observers believe Bottas needs to drop the 'nice guy' personality in order to beat Hamilton.

"If he wants to be on an equal footing with Lewis, he must try to be more of the villain," Nico Rosberg, who beat Hamilton to the title in 2016, told Kolner Express.

"I was naturally not like that either so I had to learn the hardness of my colleagues," he added.

Bottas is showing every sign that he is willing to do that.

For instance, he says he will no longer always fall in line with a team order as he has at times at Mercedes.

"In that situation, if I was there again, I would act differently," Bottas confirmed.

"I only have one career, and if I always support instead of attack for myself, I will never reach my goals," he said.

"I've been in F1 for six years now and I'm not where I want to be. I want to be able to say at the end of the year: I did everything. I could not have done better."

When asked if he has consulted with a psychologist for help, Bottas answered: "Just one -- the man in the mirror."

MORE: Bottas: Winless 2018 can be good for me
MORE: Hamilton vows to help Bottas bounce back in 2019

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