Bottas now feels 'fully settled in' at Mercedes
9 August 2017 – Valtteri Bottas says he now feels "fully settled in" at Mercedes, and cannot attribute any potential performance deficit to his inexperience with the team.
Bottas was set to remain with Williams for a fifth season but the retirement of newly-crowned World Champion Nico Rosberg opened a berth at Mercedes, which was filled by Bottas in January.
Bottas admitted during pre-season testing that moving to Mercedes was "bigger than expected" and that he was trying to become accustomed to the different working methods of the team.
He trailed team-mate Lewis Hamilton during the early stages of the campaign but enters the summer break as the in-form driver, having taken five straight podium finishes.
Bottas, twice a victor in 2017, remains firmly in the title hunt, 33 points behind Sebastian Vettel, and reckons he is now at the point where he can operate to his potential.
"I feel I'm fully settled in, you know, I cannot say I'm lacking performance because of being new to the team," Bottas explained.
"I feel very much part of the team, the team has been really supportive of that, getting me up to speed with everything.
"For sure, Lewis has been with the team many years, and it's always a benefit, I know [that from] being at Williams a long time.
"I've got to the point with the team that I feel that I can definitely perform at my best level and now we'll continue to work ahead.
"Sure, there's plenty more to come, but I'm feeling good in the team."
Bottas is currently on a one-year deal with Mercedes and is hopeful that discussions can begin shortly regarding his future at the squad.
"For sure, soon we will start to… we need to speak [about] what's going to happen, obviously," he said.
"I have no idea about the future yet so, for sure, we will speak at some point, but the problem is that the mobile phone is not so good in the sauna!
"It doesn't work, so it could take a while, so don't expect anything in Spa..."