Valtteri Bottas: 2019 has been my best year ever in F1
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Valtteri Bottas has revealed a unique technique to keep motivated for success in Formula One, which involves a computer desktop picture following a suggestion from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
Now in his fifth season alongside seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, the 31-year-old has failed to beat the Briton ever across a season, still chasing his first F1 title with Mercedes.
But Bottas has had a difficult start to the season, with Monaco adding a second retirement in five races to the Finn’s record.
The DNF also saw Bottas slipping down from third to fourth in the driver standings behind the McLaren of Lando Norris.
Finn came into the season guns blazing, adamant he would be ‘more selfish’ this season in his quest for a first title, and in Monaco he was on course to finish second in the principality before a wheel nut became lodged during a Mercedes pit stop, which saw him retire from the race.
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“You could place a photo of that person in the calendar or on the desk, and every time there is a little lack of motivation, you look at these people,” Wolff explained.
“Everyone is free to do it. Of the people I work with, I keep seeing such photos pop out. It’s good. It’s called enemy building, and it’s a powerful psychological weapon.
“As for myself, I have two photos that I always carry with me and that are on my desktop. Neither of the two people has anything to do with Formula 1 or with racing altogether. It’s about business.”
Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Bottas was asked if he had taken the advice from his boss and had adapted a similar approach to deal with the threat from rivals.
“I don’t carry a picture of Lewis [Hamilton] or Max [Verstappen] in my pocket,” Bottas replied.
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“I have one, actually inspired by the chats with Toto last year.
“I have one thing on my computer, a desktop picture, that is a motivation to me every time I open the computer.
“It’s not really a positive thing. It’s a negative thing that always reminds me to show them what I can do.”
But when asked to reveal what exactly was on the desktop, Bottas replied smiling: “I won’t tell you.”
Bottas now trails championship leader Verstappen by 58 points after Monte Carlo, and will be looking to bounce back on June 6 in Baku.
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