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2019 F1

‘I can guarantee that this year I don’t feel the pressure’ – Bottas

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Like the roundly-criticised Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas has also denied feeling the pressure in 2019.

After a disappointing 2018 season, the Mercedes driver emerged from the winter with a new attitude and a new beard.

He duly won in Australia, declaring “f**k you” to his critics on the radio, and told Italy’s Automoto that he does not fear losing his 2020 seat to Esteban Ocon or George Russell.

Russell, who currently drives for Williams, will test for Mercedes in Bahrain this week.

“I can guarantee that this year I don’t feel the pressure at all,” he said.

“Really, zero pressure. For my seat, I would say it’s normal that everyone aspires to have it — I did for myself. It’s common to get to F1 and then want to have the best place possible.”

After a lucky second place in Bahrain, Bottas still leads the world championship but La Gazzetta dello Sport gave him a score of just 5 out of 10 for the second round of the season.

“After Australia, he returned to being the shy Finn with the invisible driving and a humiliating gap to Hamilton,” the influential sports daily declared.

Bottas, though, says the season is young.

“It is a long world championship and we are only at the second race. For now it’s ok,” he said. “We start all over again, race by race.”

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