Valtteri Bottas says he will keep his head up and continue believing in himself even in the face of Lewis Hamilton’s epic Styrian GP display.
Hamilton was in a league of his own at round two at the Red Bull Ring.
While it was Bottas who claimed pole position and the race victory at round one, the Austrian Grand Prix, it was Hamilton who did so this past weekend.
The reigning World Champion stormed to pole position in the rain on Saturday afternoon, crossing the line 1.2s ahead of his nearest rival, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said the Brit’s lap was “not from this world”.
Bottas qualified fourth, 1.4s down on his team-mate.
Moving onto Sunday’s race and Hamilton was unchallenged as he romped to the victory, almost 14 seconds up the road from Bottas.
It was a flawless display from the Brit who didn’t put a wheel wrong throughout the 71 laps, managing the grand prix in his usual clinical manner.
With Hamilton seemingly back in top form, it raised questions about whether Bottas has what it takes to fight his team-mate for the World title.
The Finn is adamant he’s not going to start doubting himself after one grand prix.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Sunday’s result means Hamilton has closed the gap on Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
The Brit’s 25 points moves him up to second with 37 in total, six shy of Bottas.
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