Valtteri Bottas believes it’s a “matter of time” before he returns to winning ways in Formula 1 after missing out on yet another race win last time out at Mugello.

Since winning the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, Bottas hasn’t beaten Hamilton and now trails him by 55 points in the drivers' championship.

Bottas is remaining hopeful he can turn things around in the second part of the season.

“For sure hurts, especially when you miss the pole by such a small margin, but I’ve also been on the other side, getting the pole by a few hundredths or even thousands, so…  It has been pretty close in terms of pace between Lewis and me,” Bottas said. “It’s just getting everything to click on those sessions that really, really matter, pushing hard.

“I’m trying to get to perfection but, obviously, Lewis has had the upper by but by small margins. As I said after the last race, it’s just a matter of time before those things eventually click and I will get those poles and wins again. I believe in that, so I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing now and try to be better than two weeks ago.”

Midway through the race in Tuscany, Bottas requested to be put on an alternative strategy to Hamilton, saying over team radio: “For the second tyre set, I want the opposite to Lewis.”

Mercedes ultimately stopped both drivers for fresh hard tyres, overruling Bottas’ request.

“I think that, in that process, that was the best chance for me to win the race,” Bottas added. “What I felt in that first stint, following Lewis, with the same car, with the same tyres, unless he makes a mistake, which he rarely does, it was going to be impossible to get through and even get within the distance you can overtake from.

“So, I just tried to be offset for the tyre compound, to maybe give me a chance later on in the stint, compared to him. But then, obviously, as things went and what happened, there was no opportunity for me to go on the opposite tyre. Because of the red flag, everything that we wanted to happen was to have the best tyre, to defend the position and not to risk too much. 

“But I’ll always be searching for ways to win the race if I’m behind and sometimes offsetting the tyre compound can be the one. I will always try.”



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