Valtteri Bottas says he "really hopes" he will be able to fight for victory after finishing third in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Bottas took his third top-three grid result from the last four races today at Monza, but despite eying a victory challenge, remains realistic about the gap to the dominant Mercedes' of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Indeed his best lap in Q3 was a 1m 24.697s, which left him 0.588 seconds off pole and 0.314 seconds off P2.

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"I really hope so," he replied, when asked if he can win. "From Friday to today they [Mercedes] seem to have a bit more pace [though]. In qualifying we expected maybe we could be a little bit closer to them, but I really hope so.

"I think we have solid race pace and it just depends on if they have more pace."

Meanwhile, Bottas added that he thought he got the maximum out of his Williams in qualifying.

"It is always maximum attack. You always aim for that. You always want to do your best, but trying too much doesn't help. There is a fine line with the 'maximum attack'," he noted.

"But I was pretty close [to hitting all the right braking areas], yeah," he continued. "There are many braking zones and it is also quite bumpy here with the low downforce and the really high speeds - it is not easy. But today I managed to hit them quite well, the correct braking points, and lap by lap the times were really consistent.

"I really felt today there was not much more in the car. So, we still have some work to do [to get closer to Mercedes]."

Bottas also admitted that Williams will not be underestimating the challenge that might come from the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren behind.

"I think we should never underestimate them. Like we saw last weekend in Spa, with the Red Bull, they were really quick. We didn't really expect to be behind them. So, we should not underestimate. But we are a bit more confident here than at Spa.

"Hopefully there is not much threat from behind us and hopefully we can mainly focus on the things happening just in front of us or hopefully we can really challenge them.

"Let's see."