Winless run “disappointing and amazing”

Trailing teammate Lewis Hamilton by 97 points, Bottas said he was open to helping the Briton in the run-in of this year’s title campaign.

And the Finn, who lost a surefire victory in Azerbaijan earlier this year when he ran over debris and suffered a puncture, concedes that an early resolution to the title race would make it easier for him to pursue an end to his winless treak.

“For me, it’s quite disappointing and amazing that I haven’t won a race this year,” he said. “It’s been quite close many times, especially in the first third of the season.

“I really want to win races, that’s why I’m here.

“I don’t think the only way the next few races is that Lewis is secure in the title. If I have a good pace, a good qualifying, I’m strong in the race, I think I can definitely win – but for sure it’s a bit more simple if Lewis secures the title.

“I don’t really want to think about it too much. As long as I perform well, then hopefully I will get the results I deserve.”

Bottas says that Singapore presents as good a chance as any to break his 2018 duck, given the unpredictability associated with the event.

“You never know. You saw what happened last year! It’s racing, and we go there with the mindset that anything can happen. Hopefully we can be more competitive there than we were last year, compared to other teams. It is tricky at the moment.

“The Ferrari is quick everywhere. Red Bull will be quick in Singapore. For us, we don’t really know how competitive we are going to be, but we are going to go there, try to get more points than Ferrari.”

Bottas believes that the two top teams remain closely matched, and that tyre usage is the key from weekend to weekend.

“It is not much. I think they have a little bit more power, more straightline speed, and in the corners the difference is minimal. It depends on the corners, it depends on which team gets the tyres working better.

“In Spa, we were blistering the tyres, [in Monza] Ferrari was and we weren’t.

“It is very close – there is not much in the cars, so it definitely will be interesting seeing in Singapore if we have made improvements for that kind of track, but I think all the tracks coming up it really depends how good the upgrades we are bringing are going to be, and which upgrade they are going to bring.

“Any small gain is going to be a big benefit.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09 leads Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

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