I’m not cracking under pressure from Lewis


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Valtteri Bottas insists he is not feeling the pressure of the title fight despite falling 29 points behind Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton after a below-par Canadian Grand Prix.

After a strong start to the season, Bottas has lost momentum at the past two races — he was a victim of a pit-lane clash with Max Verstappen in Monaco, relegating Bottas to third, before a poor weekend in Canada saw him qualify sixth (after a spin in Q3) and finish fourth. Hamilton duly won on both occasions.

Bottas had a one-point lead over Hamilton after winning in Azerbaijan in April, but is now over one whole race victory (25 points) behind.

“I can’t really afford many of these type of weekends if I want to fight for the title,” Bottas said after the Canadian Grand Prix. “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 has often spoken this year about the mental toughness required to beat five-time world champion Hamilton to the 2019 crown and remains fully confident in his ability to do so.

“No, I have no pressure,” Bottas said. “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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