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Valtteri Bottas feels that Mercedes is "on the back foot" in the fight against Formula 1 title rival Ferrari in Hungary after missing out on a front row spot in qualifying on Saturday.

Ferrari swept to a front row lock-out led by drivers' championship leader Sebastian Vettel, with Bottas finishing as the top Mercedes in third place.

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Mercedes appeared to have made significant gains in the races leading up to Hungary, only for the tight and twisting nature of the Hungaroring to play back into Ferrari's favour.

When asked if Mercedes was on the back foot, Bottas said: "This weekend yes, we can see we're not performing as we should, as we want so we have to analyse that.

"We still have work to do with the car, but now we'll be focusing for the race tomorrow because it's going to be a long one and sill everything is possible.

"I definitely think that today, the whole day, Ferrari has been too quick for us. We saw the lap times they were doing in free practice, so we were expecting a tricky qualifying. It felt like we got most out of the car today, more or less, but they were just quicker today.

"Yesterday it was looking a bit better for us, today was a little bit surprising but it just shows we definitively have work to do.

"In tracks like this, that requires the maximum downforce of the car, we seem to be struggling a bit more, for one reason or another. We need to keep working."