Valtteri Bottas won’t be looking to rival teams Ferrari and Red Bull to help him in his Formula 1 title fight against Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, instead focusing on his own performance after a difficult run of races.

Bottas has emerged as the only likely contender to Hamilton in this year’s title race after winning two of the first four races, with Ferrari and Red Bull struggling to compete with Mercedes on a regular basis.

A run of four straight victories has allowed Hamilton to pull out a 36-point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship, leaving Bottas in need of a change in fortunes if he is to stop the gap growing any bigger.

To make any meaningful points gains, Bottas is relying on either a DNF or slip-up from Hamilton and on Ferrari and Red Bull’s drivers to finish ahead of his teammate.

However, Bottas stressed he is not looking to Mercedes’ rivals to help his own title cause.

“I don’t think of it that way,” Bottas said.

“I think about my own performance and try to be ahead, try and win the race, that’s the best thing for me to focus on.

“Whoever would be between us, if there is one, would always be a bonus.”

Bottas made no secret of the need to start closing the gap to Hamilton in the standings to stop his teammate escaping with a big lead, with the Finn acknowledging a lot rested on the run of upcoming races.

“For sure every race weekend is important and, unfortunately, I have not been able to execute perfect weekends in some of them,” Bottas said.

“I’m glad there are still 13 to go and, yes, I think the next few races are going to be really important for me.

“If I look that far ahead, which I normally don’t do – I don’t think about it at all – the fact is that I need to start closing the gap if I want to stay in the championship fight. That’s a fact.

“But how to achieve it, for me it’s better to focus on today, on the things I have to do with the engineers, and take it lap by lap.”

 

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