Prepared Bottas aiming to be at his 'absolute best' vs. Hamilton

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Valtteri Bottas acknowledges he needs to be at his "absolute best" to have a chance against Lewis Hamilton this season.

The Mercedes driver heads into 2020 keen to build on the progress he made last year, with four wins and second in the Drivers' standings a marked improvement on the no wins and fifth place he could only manage a year earlier.

And having posted the quickest two times of anyone in pre-season testing, the Finn is more than satisfied with his preparation.

“I feel very well prepared,” Bottas told the media on Thursday ahead of the Australian Grand Prix. “Even in testing, there were no question marks on my side.

“As a driver, you want to make the most out of those limited kilometres we have, to learn about the car, how to set it up and drive it quickly.

“I feel we are well prepared, we’ve had a really good preparation for the year and I’m keen to go."

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The big question though is what can he do to close the gap to his teammate Hamilton, after he finished 87 points behind the six-time world champion.

“It’s all about trying to be at your absolute best and pushing to the limits even further,” he added.

“What it requires to do that is the right mindset, the spirit and the attitude, being mentally free in the car and confident.

"Then it’s about finding consistency at that level all along the season - that’s the key.”

Last year, F1 was introduced to what became known as 'Bottas 2.0' in Australia when the Finn took the lead at the start and claimed a comfortable win in Melbourne.

And by developing the approach he took at the start of 2019, Valtteri hopes to repeat and then sustain that form or the whole season.

“For sure last year I came to this event with the right attitude and it worked, as the weekend went very well and I had a good start of the year,” he explained.

“So I learned, training-wise, what worked. This time I also had a very good winter, a little bit different from last year’s, mostly spend down here and doing quite a bit of cycling.

“Physically I feel very, very good and mentally I also feel very well. Everything is like in place and now I just need to drive the car.

“You always learn about what works and what doesn’t work for you, last year I’ve learned a lot and as I started last season pretty well I’m confident I’ll start this season at least as well.

“As in every championship, there will always be tricky moments but then it’s all about minimising how long they last and how much they impact you.”