Bottas aiming to overthrow Hamilton and claim world title

Lewis Hamilton is the reigning F1 champion, but Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas is planning a serious challenge in 2018.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas   -  Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas wants to overthrow Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by winning the Formula One drivers' title this season.

Hamilton held off Sebastian Vettel to claim his fourth championship and maintain Mercedes' dominance in 2017, with Bottas, who earned the first three grand prix victories of his career in that season, rounding off the top three.

After a disappointing eighth at the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix this year, the Finn earned back-to-back second-place finishes in Bahrain and China.

The race in Shanghai was Bottas' 100th start in F1 and he wants to kick on and mount a serious challenge for the first title of his career.

Asked when he will be world champion, Bottas, speaking courtesy of Petronas, said: "Hopefully this year.

"For me, it's the only goal in my career. But I take no pressure from it, I just work hard.

"I enjoy what I do because always when I enjoy it that's when I drive the quickest, I feel. One day it will come.

"When I was a kid I only dreamed of being a world champion, so I'm still chasing that dream."

Bottas admitted at the tail end of last season he did not realise how hard Hamilton worked before teaming up with him, and he revealed what he has picked up from racing alongside the Briton.

"I've got to know Lewis really well. He's a really quick driver, obviously, but also a really nice guy," he said.

"Driving-wise what I've learned from Lewis is you can learn all kinds of details, different tracks, different racing lines, different driving styles, ways of setting up the car, being quick - it's fine details.

"I'm always willing to learn and he's very experienced, but I've seen nothing comes for free. He works hard and he's a team player."

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