Bottas returned to the track in the 2018 Mercedes W09 at Silverstone on Tuesday, fresh from an extended period away from the track.
“I really fell that this extra time of that was unexpected made only good for me,” Bottas told the Sky Sports F1 Vodcast. “It’s just a rare time as a driver that you get so much time off and actually do different kinds of things, and also have time to focus on yourself, and growing yourself both physically and mentally.
In 2018, Bottas failed to score a single victory, finishing fifth in the driver standings while Hamilton took world title number five at a canter.
Fast-forward to 2019, and Valtteri 2.0 was born. Victories for Bottas in Australia and Azerbaijan gave Hamilton a fright – the two drivers sharing podiums in each of the first six grands prix, the first five being one-two finishes – but, although it is difficult to pinpoint a single moment where the challenge faded, the Finn never appeared to pose a genuine threat.
Now, Bottas believes he is ready to mount a season long challenge.
He added: “It’s obviously going to be a pretty special season, because obviously it’s going to be shorter than planned. Every mistake will cost you much more than