Valtteri Bottas says he and Mercedes have “started the process” to help him improve on his weaknesses against Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The Finn made his best-ever start to an F1 season to lead the championship standings having claimed two victories from the opening four races, though he has not won since and fallen 63 points behind Hamilton, who has gone on to win eight times this year.

Bottas finished ahead of Hamilton for the first time since June’s Austrian Grand Prix last time out at Monza, but was unable to challenge Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the win despite having much fresher tyres in the closing stages. Bottas admits he has struggled to extract the maximum from his W10 package on the occasions Hamilton has been able to find added performance.

“With the team we’ve started the process for me to try and get better on that,” Bottas said.

“There are some occasions Lewis has done a better job on following another car and getting close quicker, and being able to attack, and looking at all the things I can learn from that, looking at videos from the past, different race situations.

“Honestly, I feel there was no way to win at Monza with the difference we had, straight line difference, my tyres were dropping at the end.

“Now looking back and analysing everything. for sure an area I still can improve and it’s one of the strengths of Lewis’.”

Bottas said he is relishing the freedom of not having to start assisting Hamilton’s title bid this year, with the pair in a direct intra-team battle for the championship.

“For sure it’s a different feeling, coming here this weekend, still knowing everything is possible,” he explained.

“He is a bit far away in the points but better not to think about it too much, now focus on short-term goals, every race weekend.

“Like I said earlier I’ve learned loads since last year being here, was a tough race, started fourth, finished fourth, so I need to be a lot better.”

Asked if he will need to dig deeper to find the areas of improvements in order to beat Hamilton, Bottas replied: “Definitely in this sport there’s so many details and things you can improve if you invest your time into that.

“If I want to beat Lewis for the whole season I definitely have to dig as deep as I can to not leave any stone unturned, I’m ready for that.

“We have a good spirit now with the engineers on my side of the garage, we’re very united for me to find those gains, step by step, and find those improvements.

“They’re motivated to help me and we’ve found a nice way of working now and hopefully that will bring results in the near future.”

 

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