“Me a young guy said, ‘It’s normal, I’m not here to lose, I’m here to win.’ And it was interesting, then, when Ayrton recognised, ‘Hold on a second, this young guy is bloody quick. I have to take all my effort and experience in my career to find a way I can kick this young Finnish driver’s butt and beat him. There’s no way I allow him to be faster than me.’
“That’s what he did, he used every possible trick what he has ever collected in his career to be faster than me and it worked. It put my feet on the ground, I started looking at myself in the mirror, ‘Mika how good really are you?’
“I realised that way I had to work harder but also my engineers had to work harder, I had to start demanding much more from them too. It’s not enough to say there’s a little bit of understeering, they have to go to the next level and find a way to see what we can do to make me go quicker. It’s a team’s work.
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“Coming back to Valtteri being in this incredible position in this Mercedes team, incredible results this year 2020, fighting against this great champion Lewis Hamilton.
“Similar work is going on his mind constantly, pushing himself, pushing the engineers, finding the solutions, ‘Why am I one-tenth slower? What do they have different? How can I get more out of the engineers?’