Valtteri Bottas may have fallen off the pace in the few races, however, the Finn insists he is not out of this year’s title fight.
The last time Bottas claimed a race win was at April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, since then it has been all Lewis Hamilton.
The reigning World Champion has won three on the trot to take a 29-point lead over Bottas.
However, perhaps more worrying is the Finn’s lacklustre performance last time out in Canada.
Bottas qualified a disappointing P6 and finished fourth in Montreal, the first time this season that Mercedes did not have both drivers on the podium.
Bottas, though, is adamant he is not doubting his ability to take the fight to his team-mate.
“No doubt,” he told F1.com “I still remember my last win, my last pole, like it was yesterday.
“The points gap to Lewis… it’s still manageable.
“It’s 14 races to go and that’s a lot of points, so I just need to try and get those wins now, get the big points.”
He added: “It’s super competitive [between Lewis and I] for sure this year.
“I think the momentum is going to change from one to another during the year, and for different reasons, I haven’t been quite able to maximise the points in the last two races.
“But nothing has changed in a way, so just again, a complete reset from Montreal, move on and try again here.”
Here is the Circuit Paul Ricard, the home of the French Grand Prix where last year Hamilton took the race win with Bottas down in seventh place.
The Finn said: “I’m sure there’s a possibility for [Paul Ricard] to be a stronger track than Montreal for us.
“There’s some really long straights here and as we’ve seen, that’s a pretty big advantage for Ferrari, especially in qualifying on the straights, so we’re expecting a close fight and not to come to the weekend thinking we’re ahead.
“I think that’s always the right mentality anyway, so we need to make sure we get the most of our package.
“It’s going to be all about small margins and taking the opportunities on each race weekend.”
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