Valtteri Bottas says his recent setbacks in Monaco and Canada have nothing to do with pressure after seeing Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton pull clear in the Formula 1 championship standings.

Bottas has emerged as reigning world champion Hamilton’s chief rival for the title in the early part of the 2019 season, scoring two wins and four further podiums in the opening seven races.

But a third-place finish in Monaco followed by a difficult Canadian Grand Prix weekend that saw him finish fourth has left Bottas trailing Hamilton by 29 points at the top of the championship.

Asked after the race in Canada if the pressure was beginning to get to him in his battle with Hamilton, Bottas knocked back the suggestion.

“No, I have no pressure. I’m happy about the situation, how things have been going since the start of the year and really enjoying it,” Bottas said.

“I made a mistake and at the end of qualifying, I was maybe trying too much to recover, but that can happen.

“I wouldn’t say that anything from the last couple of races had anything to do with pressure, including this weekend, so I can’t confirm that.

“I don’t think that’s what happened and I can say there’s no pressure.

“There’s nothing affecting my performance, only in a positive way. I don’t want to say more about that.”

While Bottas is 29 points behind Hamilton, he has still made his strongest start yet to an F1 season, with third-placed Sebastian Vettel sitting 33 points adrift from the Finn in third place.

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