Valtteri Bottas insists the prospect of an intra-team fight for the 2019 Formula 1 world championship has not had any effect on his relationship with Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton heads Mercedes teammate Bottas by 17 points heading into this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, having taken four victories to Bottas’ two. 

The pair have been closely-matched throughout the first six races but despite appearing set to duel it out for the title for the remainder of the campaign, Bottas says nothing has changed between them. 

“I’m sorry to be boring but there’s nothing interesting you are going to get out of it because everything is as before,” Bottas replied when asked whether the fight had altered his and Hamilton’s relationship at all. 

“We’ve always had good respect both ways and it’s still the same. The competition this year so far has been closer than before and it hasn’t changed a thing. 

“We still keep working with the engineers and share the data, we have no problems with it. When you put the helmet on it’s time to race each other and nothing has changed. 

“It’s a fact that I need to beat Lewis and every single driver on the grid to win the title and there’s nothing new on that.”

Bottas and Hamilton are currently tied 3-3 in the qualifying head-to-heads, with little separating the pair on a Saturday across the opening six rounds of the season. 

Asked if he expects the qualifying battle to come down to the finest margins once again this weekend in Montreal, Bottas replied: “I think it’s going to be close. 

“Usually this track, because it’s quite short, there’s not that many places you can make a big difference. 

“On top of that it’s been very close between me and Lewis in the qualifying sessions, so I’m expecting it’s going to be about hundredths and maybe thousands. I need to make sure those hundredths and thousands are on my side. 

“It’s going to be about finding those in the practice, together with the team and finding the set-up, so I look forward to it - I really do.” 

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

 

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