Valtteri Bottas admits Mercedes had no answer to the pace of Formula 1 rivals Ferrari  during the Canadian Grand Prix, adding the Scuderia was simply “quicker all the time”.

Bottas led Mercedes’ challenge throughout the weekend as he missed out on pole position to Sebastian Vettel by just 0.093s, before finishing a distant second to the Ferrari driver.

The Finn lost time at the start as he forcefully defended his position from the fast-starting Red Bull of Max Verstappen, enabling Vettel to scamper clear and open up a comfortable early margin. 

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The German dominated proceedings to retake the lead of the championship by a single point thanks to a commanding victory, one that Bottas concedes he was never really in contention for. 

“I think the most exciting part was really the start,” Bottas said. “Just trying to defend my second place as hard as I could. I think it was really cool racing with Max there into Turns 1 and 2. 

“I’m happy I ended up ahead of him. After that, we were just trying to put pressure on Sebastian. We couldn’t really, we didn’t have enough pace.

“Since lap one, really, they seemed to be quicker all the time, they could control the race, I was pushing to the limit, but then we got into a bit of trouble in the end, running out of fuel, so that’s why Max got close in the end.”

The reigning world champions suffered a blow early on in the weekend when it was forced to delay the planned introduction of an upgraded engine after discovering a last-minute reliability concern, while rivals Ferrari and Renault both gained from updated power units in Montreal

Lewis Hamilton could only manage the fourth-quickest time in qualifying and struggled to fifth following early engine issues on Sunday - a result Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said had acted as a “major wake-up call” for his team. 

When asked how badly Mercedes needs its upgraded power unit, Bottas replied: “We need it definitely. Today showed that we are not quick enough. We definitely need it and we are going to get for the next race so that’s good. 

“There was nothing we could have done better,” he added. “That’s where we are as a team now, Ferrari was better this weekend, Red Bull was very close and we couldn’t have done better with the car we had.”

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