Bottas: "I'm ready to take pole position at Mercedes!"


Valtteri Bottas insists that he's ready to claim his first Formula One pole position and race victory, despite acknowledging the challenge presented by his new Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton.

"I’m ready for it today!" said Bottas when asked how long he thought it would take before he would be ready to clinch his first pole and Grand Prix victory now that he's changed teams.

"Hopefully the car will good and hopefully that will be possible sooner rather than later," Bottas added.

It took his predecessor Nico Rosberg over two years to achieve those feats at Mercedes, but Bottas said that things had moved on for the team since then.

"I think the team in theory should be in a different position to what it was when Nico joined the team. I think the team has grown up a lot since. It’s a stronger team than at that time.

"That’s what we’re hoping for this year as well and I definitely feel that during the four years as a race driver with Williams, fighting for podiums on many occasions in a good car, I’m definitely ready for poles and wins."

Having only joined the team in January following Rosberg's shock retirement at the end of 2016, Bottas conceded that he had some lost ground to regain compared to Hamilton.

"For sure it’s not an advantage, starting mid-January, with a new team. It was quite a late call but, like I said, I really feel that we have made the most out of the time that we had. I feel well prepared.

"Of course, starting earlier would have helped. We could have had double the time before the testing. But it’s what it is and we need to deal with it, basically.

"I’m confident that everything is sorted and ready but, again, mentioning one more time, that it’s going to be massively important to keep learning every day how the team operates."

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