Cape Town - Valtteri Bottas believes he can beat Lewis Hamilton through
hard work but won't fall apart if he loses to his Mercedes team-mate.
This season Bottas, a three-time grand prix, is hoping to
challenge for his first World title while Hamilton is going for his fifth.
Mercedes are the favourite for the title having shown both
pace and reliability in pre-season testing.
"Lewis is a great driver and I should never get upset
if he is quicker than me at times," Bottas said. "Then I just need to
accept it and learn from those races.
"For sure I was beating myself up a lot last year when
I was struggling but that's all part of the learning process and you always
learn about yourself as well every season.
"I am going in with a good mindset for this year. I
know I can do a lot of good things so let's see race by race."
There is, however, more than just a title on the line for
Bottas with the former Williams driver also chasing a long-term Mercedes deal
as he is currently on a one-year contract.
He added: "I know the team, I learned a lot last year
and it's entirely up to me to perform.
"I think for me to secure a long-term relationship with
the team I need results, I need performance, week in, week out, I need to be
able to challenge Lewis.
"That's it; it's completely up to me."
inn reiterated that he has plans to engage in mental
warfare with Hamilton as he believes that it a waste of energy.
"Well, I'm not going to go into a complete mental fight
within the team. Instead of that I'm going to focus on my own performance on
the track," he continued.
"I will be quick in practice, qualifying and in the
races, focusing my energy on that.
"For sure Nico worked very hard, he took three years to
beat Lewis, but he beat him by working hard. I believe it's possible."