Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas says he has not given up on his bid to win a first Formula 1 drivers' championship in 2017 even if it is currently a "long shot."

Bottas' Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton currently leads the drivers' standings, with a 28-point lead over Sebastian Vettel following a disastrous DNF for the Ferrari driver in Singapore.

Bottas himself trails Vettel by a further 23 points, but will not give up on the championship until it is mathematically impossible for him to win it.

"The next target is to get ahead of Sebastian. I will never give up on the title fight," Bottas said.

"I know it’s a bit of a long shot but it will not make any sense to give up. Like always, I will go race by race but definitely Sebastian is the next target. 

"As a team we want to be first of all constructors' champions, drivers champion as well, and ideally one-two."

Asked what he had to do to further impress Mercedes, with whom he has been re-signed for a second season in 2018, he said the strategy remained the same.

"I think I need to win more races. That’s what normally counts," Bottas said.

"We have an opportunity to finish very strong this year with many good results. Six races to go."

A double DNF for Ferrari in Singapore has put Mercedes over 100 points ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors championship, proving the pairing of Hamilton and Bottas can perform well for the team. After a late draft-in to the team this season following Nico Rosberg's sudden retirement, Bottas feels they can do even better next year.

"I think starting next year it will be quite a different feeling. Now I have got to know all the people, I’ve got to know the car very well," Bottas said.

"Starting a new year with not that many things to get used to that took a lot of energy. I’m looking forward to starting next year fresh new season, but I’m looking also forward to the last six races of this year."

 

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