Valtteri Bottas says he needs to take “every opportunity there is” to try and catch Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Formula 1 title race after ending a two-month pole position drought on Saturday at Silverstone.

Bottas edged out Hamilton by six-thousandths of a second in qualifying for the British Grand Prix to grab his first pole since the Spanish Grand Prix at the beginning of May, giving a boost to his fading title hopes.

The Finn has slipped 31 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ standings nearing the halfway point in the season, making tomorrow’s race an important opportunity to try and strike back.

“For sure the championship fight is still on,” Bottas said. “I’m the one chasing, I’m behind. I don’t know the exact number but it’s around 30 points, but it’s going to be up to me, to my performance.

“I need to get every opportunity there is, otherwise Lewis is going to be far away and I won’t be able to reach him anymore.

“Tomorrow is going to be important, but so is race after and the race after that. I just need to use these opportunities and make sure I do everything I can to cut the margin.”

Bottas said his pole position lap still left some margin for improvement, even though he was unable to improve on his final effort of the session.

“There was not much between me and Lewis in the end, but going into the second run it was clear there were some places where I had a margin to improve,” Bottas said.

“I wouldn’t say it was a perfect lap. I doubt anyone could do a perfect lap today. It was not easy out there. The track is super sensitive to tiny mistakes here and there with this new tarmac.

“It was enough for pole, and that’s definitely a good thing.”

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