Bottas: Canada a "wake-up call" in title fight against Hamilton

Scott Mitchell
Bottas: Canada a

Valtteri Bottas says he cannot afford many weekends like the Canadian Grand Prix after getting "a bit of a wake-up call" in the Formula 1 title battle.

Bottas has fallen to 29 points adrift of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who took his fifth win from the first seven races of the season in controversial circumstances in Montreal.

While Hamilton inherited victory thanks to a penalty for Sebastian Vettel, Bottas finished fourth after only qualifying sixth - the first time a Mercedes driver finished off the podium this season.

While Bottas "didn't feel it was that difficult" performance-wise in Canada, he admitted he paid the price for making errors at key moments in qualifying, when he had a half-spin and then a scruffy lap.

"I still felt really good in Q1 and Q2, in Q2 I had a clear idea of how to improve and where to improve, and I was really confident," said Bottas.

"Then it really came down to a silly mistake that meant I lost quite a few points, which is obviously annoying.

"I can't really afford many of these type of weekends if I want to fight for the title. I have to move on.

"Maybe it was a bit of a wake-up call again. I'm sure I can always learn from that.

"For me, thoughts are already on the French Grand Prix."

Bottas: Canada a

Bottas salvaged an extra point by securing the bonus point for fastest lap, but with two wins to Hamilton's five has lost the momentum he had after the first four races of the season.

Hamilton has won the last three grands prix whereas Bottas has finished second, third and fourth - although he would have been second in Monaco but for a pitlane incident with Max Verstappen.

Asked if he was struggling to deal with the pressure of the title battle, Bottas said: "No, I have no pressure. I am very happy about the situation and how everything's been going since the beginning of the year.

"I'm enjoying it.

"I made one mistake [in qualifying]. Maybe at the end I was trying too much to recover that. That can happen.

"I wouldn't say anything from the last couple of races was anything to do with pressure.

"I don't think that [wilting under the pressure] is going to happen."

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