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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won his fourth world title in 2017, winning a close-fought battle with Sebastian Vettel to take a third crown in four years with Mercedes.



His new teammate Valtteri Bottas ended in third position, 12 points behind Vettel, but could have challenged for second had a mid-season slump not left him too far behind.

The Finn managed to register his first Formula One victory in his maiden season at the Silver Arrows, and capped the season with another win in the final race to make it a sum total of three.

That, however, was nothing compared to Hamilton’s exploits, who triumphed in nine races.

However, there was a sharp learning curve for Bottas, and he claims to have learnt a lot from that experience.

“I always knew that he’s really talented for sure, and he’s quick in any circumstances always – he just goes in the car and he’s very quick,” Bottas told Autosport.

“But that also comes from hard work, he works hard with the team.”

Bottas, quite different compared to the emotional Hamilton, has been branded a stereotypical Finn by his Mercedes colleagues, keeping his cards close to his chest the majority of the time.

The 28-year-old also didn’t shy away from the fact that the two did have a rather different style of going about their business.

“What he’s been doing better than me, I think it comes mainly from experience,” Bottas added.

“I think ultimately mechanically the car hasn’t really changed much from the last few years, in terms of how it behaves, and it was very different how the Williams car behaved.

“So there’s been many things for me to learn, and I’ve been kind of catching up on things all the time.”

Bottas was quick to point out that he was solely to blame for his troubles midway through the season, largely due to the fact that he was not driving “naturally” at times in the 2017 season.

“After struggling quite a lot for a couple of races, it wasn’t easy mentally because I was quite confused in the beginning – like, ‘what’s going on?’,” Bottas said.

“For sure you also start to doubt what you’re doing.




“Then also when you need to change some things with your driving style and need to adapt to many different things suddenly you realise it’s not that simple.

“Then you easily overthink things and then it becomes less natural driving.

“But it’s going to a much better direction. If there’s going to be similar struggles (in 2018) I’m prepared for that.

“And I’ve learnt massively from those difficult races so I think I’m a lot better driver as well than for example in Spa or Malaysia or Japan.”

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