Valtteri Bottas concedes his damage limitation performance at the Canadian Grand Prix following his qualifying mistakes was poor and wants to use the experience as a wake-up call to his own Formula 1 world title ambitions.

After making mistakes in Q3 of qualifying, meaning he could only manage a time for sixth place on the grid, Bottas says his recovery drive was stalled behind the Red Bull and Renault drivers leaving him over 50 seconds behind the leaders in fourth place at the finish.

With Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton winning the race in Montreal, albeit in controversial circumstances, Bottas has slipped back to 29 points behind in the F1 drivers’ championship standings.

The Finn accepts he cannot afford any more poor weekends if he is to sustain a title challenge against Hamilton this year.

“I was really confident but it came down to the silly mistakes in Q3 and that led to me losing quite a lot of points, which is annoying and I cannot really afford many of this type of weekends if I want to fight for the title,” Bottas said. “It’s not ideal so maybe it’s a bit of a wake-up call again, for sure I can always learn for it.

“I can’t be too satisfied with P4. At least I made up a couple of places and also got the extra point for the fastest lap – that is positive.”

Reflecting on his own race, Bottas says his charge was limited by initially falling behind Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg on the opening lap before his Mercedes suffered with overheating stuck behind other cars.

“The beginning of the race was tougher than what I was hoping for, I lost one position after being boxed in in Turn 2,” he said. “Then there was a bit of a train of cars with DRS in the beginning and I was quite a bit limited by engine overheating and also brake overheating, so I couldn’t really get close enough to push past.

“I was just waiting for the opportunities and eventually they all boxed. By the time they stopped I had already lost a lot of time for the top three cars and then I was okay in clean air.

“It was okay, no big issues, the second stint felt quick but everything came down to what happened yesterday.”

 

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