Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn believes Valtteri Bottas is now facing a "mental battle" in his 2020 title fight against Lewis Hamilton.

After heading Hamilton throughout practice at Mugello, Bottas suffered an agonising 0.059s qualifying defeat to his Mercedes teammate in qualifying, before finishing second in the race.

Despite initially getting past Hamilton at the start, a second standing start restart following the first red flag period enabled Hamilton to reclaim first place, which he maintained throughout to record his 90th career victory.

Madness At The Maiden Tuscan GP | F1 Winners & Losers |

Hamilton has now won six of the first nine races this season and opened up a 55-point advantage in the championship, while Bottas hasn’t tasted the victory champagne since the opening round in Austria in early July.

Writing in his latest post-race column after the first-ever Tuscan Grand Prix, Brawn reckons Bottas will be “struggling to come to terms” with his latest defeat to Hamilton.

“Valtteri Bottas will leave Tuscany believing he should have a victory trophy in his possession, the Finn was in tremendous shape after snatching the lead from Lewis Hamilton,” Brawn said.

“But he let the win slip through his fingers and he must be struggling to come to terms with another defeat to the reigning world champion.

“This one will hurt and will leave him asking himself – what does he need to do to get the better of his teammate?

“He’s still in the championship hunt, of course, but as every race goes by, his chances are slipping away.

“It’s now a mental battle, because he has the speed. But Lewis is relentless, takes every opportunity and rarely gives one to his opposition.”

Bottas cut a frustrated figure in Mugello after the race but stressed he would continue to push in the hope that his luck changes.

Asked what he can do to try and turn things around in his favour, Bottas said: “I’ll just keep pushing. I’ll keep pushing and keep trying to get better. It has to turn out well for me at some point.

“I’ve lost many qualifying’s this year by just a few hundredths [of a second] so I think that’s the first thing: to try to get those few hundredths to my side.

“I feel it’s just a matter of time that things will go my way and it will come and I will keep pushing.”