Bottas won't let Styria defeat 'drag me down' in F1 title fight with Hamilton

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Valtteri Bottas says he won't let a tricky Styrian Grand Prix "drag me down" after Lewis Hamilton eased to victory on Sunday.

The Finn was left slightly on the back foot after only qualifying fourth in the wet conditions at the Red Bull Ring but recovered to second after using fresher tyres to pass Max Verstappen in the closing laps.

But the dominance of Hamilton's first win of 2020 has already led some to wonder if 'Bottas 3.0' has already peaked...

"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.

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"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 [for the Austrian GP], I know what I’m capable of.

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

Bottas came into this season already expecting to put up a stronger fight to Hamilton after working on his weaknesses and also having lost the off-track distraction of a divorce from his ex-wife.

But with the 2020 season also unexpectedly starting so late due to the coronavirus, the Mercedes driver thinks that has helped him too.

"I do, but I think many drivers might do because everyone had such a long break, an unusual time to do other things and properly recharge the batteries and have time for yourself," he explained.

"Yes, for me, I feel very re-energised, and many things have happened in my private life since the end of last year, and everything is quite different for me.

"I just feel good, I feel confident, and from the race, it has given me confidence that I saw my race pace was good, and if my start had been different then I could have been fighting for the win.

"That's why no single bad result will affect my confidence because it is early days in the season, but I'm definitely in the championship fight, and that's a nice, super-motivating place to be."

With a win and a second place in the first two races, Bottas holds a six-point lead over Hamilton ahead of this weekend's Hungarian GP.