That is the view of former driver and now regular F1 steward Mika Salo, who spoke to Russia’s Sport FM about the progress of his Finnish countryman.
“If you look at the statistics, Bottas is on average closer to Hamilton’s times than Rosberg was,” said the former Ferrari and Sauber driver.
“But he also knows that he is under pressure. Valtteri needs to win a few races, because he has a contract at Mercedes for only one year,” Salo added.
Salo, 50, also commented on the fate of Russian driver Daniil Kvyat, who after a tumultuous 2016 season is now fighting back for F1 credibility this year.
“Daniil had a difficult year last year, with significant issues,” said the Finn.
“But I’m glad that he is now back in shape and going better than Sainz. I’m sure Kvyat has a good future in formula one,” Salo added.
Bottas reckons ‘learned a few tricks’ in testing
The final day post-race Bahrain test Bottas set fastest lap-time and he reckons “learned a few tricks” as he put in the laps at the Sakhir circuit.
“Today was very good; we got so much running done, we were focusing all-day on the long-run pace, which was a bit of a problem for us [during the Grand Prix] on Sunday compared to Ferrari. said Bottas
“We did some interesting tests to try and improve both the tyre life and the race pace. We have definitely got plenty to analyse tonight. I think I learned a few tricks today as well. The Finn added
“”To stay here in Bahrain for a test after two back to back races is tough, but the guys have done a great job over these two days of testing.”