Formula 1

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Valtteri Bottas explains where he must improve in 2018

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Valtteri Bottas has identified his one-lap pace and overall qualifying performance as areas to be improved if he is to pose a bigger challenge to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton next year.

Hamilton clinched this season's driver's championship back in October and eventually finished 58 points above third-placed Bottas, with Sebastian Vettel sandwiched in between the Mercedes pair.

Bottas acknowledged that starting on pole proved to be a huge advantage in 2017 and accepted it was a key factor in the championship.

"His strength was the qualifying," he said, per GP Update.

"He did some really good qualifying performances and most of the time started the race from pole position and [the race is] always different [from pole]."

Lewis Hamilton out-qualified Bottas 13-7 during their first season together at Mercedes, with the Brit amassing 11 poles in total compared to the Finn's four.

Bottas conceded: "I think for me I need to focus on my qualifying, and also some of the races that I struggled with the race pace."

Upon Nico Rosberg's retirement after last season, Bottas was handed the second Mercedes driving seat, after an impressive couple of years at Williams.

F1 Grand Prix of Russia

This translated to early success as Bottas contended with Hamilton and Vettel in the early part of the season. 

However as the season wore on, the gap in form between Bottas and the other contenders began to show and his title credentials faded away.

"The last few races of the season I could really learn a lot and improve a lot, so I need more consistency with my results and then it's possible to fight with him.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

"I think as a driver I've definitely learned a lot and felt that sometimes I had quite a hard lesson.I really struggled some races with the car and with my driving, and had to work on many of the issues and learn from those and get better. 

"So I think our of all the seasons I've had in Formula 1 this is the one [in which] I've learned the most."

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Topics:
Nico Rosberg
Valterri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
Formula 1

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