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Bottas now has no reason to doubt himself in title fight with Hamilton

Bottas now has no reason to doubt himself in title fight with Hamilton

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Bottas now has no reason to doubt himself in title fight with Hamilton

Bottas now has no reason to doubt himself in title fight with Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas insists he has no reason to doubt himself in this year's Formula 1 world title fight with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Following a win apiece for Bottas and Hamilton in the season-opening back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring, there is every indication the battle for this year's championship will be between the two Mercedes drivers.

Bottas has yet to beat Hamilton over a season in his three years with the team, notably due to the six-time F1 champion's consistency throughout a campaign.

The Finn is confident he now has the mental strength and the talent to take on Hamilton and beat him in a head-to-head duel.

"I think in any sport, and especially in Formula 1 – it’s quite a special sport, it’s quite easy to doubt yourself – but for the moment I have no reason to," said Bottas.

"Obviously, over the years you find the right tools, how to find your confidence and the trust in yourself and what you are doing. I have no reason to doubt any of my ability or skills.

"I know Lewis had a strong weekend [in the Styrian Grand Prix]. He did a good job. Also, based on last weekend [for the Austrian GP], I know what I’m capable of.

"So, I really feel many improvements in my driving since last year, so that’s why I’m confident it’s going to be a good battle for the championship this year.

"I’m not going to let one weekend, even multiple weekends, drag me down. I’ve learned that. [I'm] Just going to focus on the job and improving myself as we go."

In particular, Bottas again has a settled personal life after going through a divorce last year which, in conjunction with the long off-season due to the pandemic lockdown, means he feels better equipped to take on Hamilton.

"I do, but I think many drivers might do because everyone had such a long break, an unusual time to do other things and properly recharge the batteries and have time for yourself," said Bottas, who holds an early six-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers' standings.

"Yes, for me, I feel very re-energised, and many things have happened in my private life since the end of last year, and everything is quite different for me.

"I just feel good, I feel confident, and from the race, it has given me confidence that I saw my race pace was good, and if my start had been different then I could have been fighting for the win.

"That's why no single bad result will affect my confidence because it is early days in the season, but I'm definitely in the championship fight, and that's a nice, super-motivating place to be."

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