Valtteri Bottas says his disappointing Canadian GP has served as a “wake-up call” in his championship battle with Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas had to settle for fourth place in Sunday’s race as he paid the price for only qualifying sixth, and now trails Mercedes team-mate Hamilton – who claimed a controversial victory – by 29 points in the standings.Sponsored link
“I can’t really afford many of these type of weekends if I want to fight for the title,” a disconsolate Bottas admitted to reporters. “I have to move on.
“Maybe it was a bit of a wake-up call again. For sure I will learn from it.”
Bottas wasn’t able to trouble the top three in Montreal after his grid position meant he was stuck behind some Renaults at the start of the race.SAS GEO ERRORThis video is not authorized in your locationRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEOValtteri Bottas gets ahead of Daniel Ricciardo on the main straight during the Canadian GP
He was quick once in clear air – finishing with a fastest-lap point – but accepts that he essentially lost points to Hamilton by making mistakes on both of his Q3 laps on Saturday.
“Honestly I didn’t feel it was that difficult,” Bottas insisted, though his P6 was the worst qualifying result for a Mercedes driver – discounting penalties, reliability failures and crashes – since Singapore 2017.
“I still felt really good in Q1 and Q2,” he added. “in Q2 I had a clear idea of how to improve and where to improve, and I was really confident.
“Then it really came down to a silly mistake in Q3 which led to me losing quite a few points, which is obviously annoying.”SAS GEO ERRORThis video is not authorized in your locationRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEOSky F1’s Karun Chandhok & Jenson Button are at the SkyPad to reflect on the biggest moment from the Canadian GP – the Hamilton-Vettel incident.
Can Bottas regain form in title race?
Earlier this year Bottas looked like he was going to pose a renewed challenge to Hamilton but a hat-trick of victories for the Englishman has put Bottas, in a contract year at Mercedes, on the back foot.
Can he recover?
“It was surprising to see the qualifying performance,” said Sky F1’s Jenson Button. “One small slip-up, and if Lewis sees that from a team-mate, it gives him a lot of confidence.”
Martin Brundle added: “I think Valtteri now needs Lewis to have some sort of mechanical issue to get back on terms.