Valtteri Bottas has shrugged off the assertion Mercedes F1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton rediscovered the edge over him during his formidable victory in the Styrian Grand Prix.

A week after Bottas swept to victory from pole position in the opening round of the season, the Finn couldn’t match Hamilton on the resumption of action at the Red Bull Ring as the Briton powered to a lights-to-flag success.

On both occasions the chaser was coming from behind after difficulties in qualifying but while Hamilton pushed the Finn hard for victory in round one – even if a penalty demoted him to fourth – Bottas was a substantial distance behind his counterpart in second place.

While Hamilton remains a significant favourite over Bottas for the title, the eight-time GP winner insists he remains certain he can take the fight to the six-time F1 champion.

“I think in any sport, and especially in Formula 1 – it’s quite a special sport, it’s quite easy to doubt yourself – but for the moment I have no reason to. Obviously over the years you find the right tools, how to find your confidence and the trust in yourself and what you are doing. I have no reason to doubt any of my ability or skills. 

“I know Lewis had a strong weekend. He did a good job. Also, based on last weekend, I know what I’m capable of. So, I really feel many improvements in my driving since last year – so that’s why I’m confident it’s going to be a good battle for the Championship this year. 

“So, I’m not going to let one weekend, even multiple weekends, drag me down. I’ve learned that. Just going to focus on the job and improving myself as we go.”

Bottas adds he will ‘look in the mirror’ to progress from this weekend and focus on the positives that have seen him come out of the blocks so strongly.

“In some things I’m going to have a look in the mirror why today was a bit more difficult and could have been possibly a good battle with Lewis. But I think, from where I started and how the race went, I think it felt like I and us as a team, we could really maximise everything, so being able to, as a team, get the first 1-2 of the year, only the second race, is obviously really impressive. 

“Like Lewis said, I’m just really thankful for everyone. It’s a privilege to drive for this team. But, of course, I’m not 100 per cent happy because I didn’t win. That’s how it goes as a driver but Lewis did a great job this weekend and… yeah… still points-wise it’s still early days and everything is looking good, so that’s why I can’t wait for the future.”

The 2020 F1 season continues this weekend with the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.

 

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