Valtteri Bottas has admitted his chances of winning the 2020 Formula 1 title are “drifting away” after finishing a distant third in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Finn could only manage third after dropping behind Max Verstappen and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll on the opening lap in Barcelona.

Bottas managed to overtake Stroll within a couple of laps of the start but was unable to challenge Verstappen for P2 due to the difficulties in following other cars at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

He now sits 43 points behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship with the six-time champion winning the last four races.

Reflecting on his title chances, Bottas said: “Far from ideal and I have no clue actually what the points difference is but it’s way too big and I can see again the championship drifting away. It will take a couple of days to look at everything to see what we can improve and again, move on.

“Obviously at this point, very disappointing but yes I know I will always bounce back and no doubt in Spa, as always, I will be in full mental health, giving everything I have but for now, I just want to be somewhere else than here right now.”

Bottas opted for softs in the second stint, while Hamilton opted for fresh mediums.

The Finn defended Mercedes' decision to stop him for softs despite not being able to challenge Verstappen for second in the closing laps of the race.

“At the end, there was a bit of a debate what to do really,” Bottas added. “I knew that if I went for the mediums, there would be no chance unless he made a mistake or something because there was not enough tyre delta. I think the team decided to go for something different which was a good idea, but in the end it wasn’t good enough.

“You can’t really push that tyre, it just overheats. I think the main opportunity I had personally would have been just before Max stopped, there were a couple of points I was pretty close but we didn’t take those.”