Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas press conference.

Valtteri Bottas discusses relationship with Lewis Hamilton

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Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas sits third in this year's F1 standings as the season goes into its summer break.

He is 33 points off the leader Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, and 19 points behind his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

However, despite the gap, Bottas believes he can overtake both drivers in the second half of the season and claim his maiden title.

He told Bild: "Yes, I can become world champion, There are still nine races to go, and I believe that I can beat Lewis and Sebastian -- I have already done both this year. I am getting better and better. There is no limit for me. I would never say that one of my opponents is better than me. I believe in myself."

While Ferrari seem happy to back Sebastian Vettel, Mercedes is standing by its principle of allowing both of its drivers equal opportunities.

Despite Vettel struggling in Hungary, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, instead of challenging for the lead, protected the Ferrari 1-2, despite being faster than his teammate at times.

In contrast, Hamilton was allowed to pass Bottas to challenge the Ferrari's in Hungary, but upon failing in his challenge, allowed Bottas to retake the final podium position and three valuable championship points.

Hamilton had said following the race that he was "a man of his word", and Bottas praised Hamilton, saying: "Not every teammate would have done that for a podium, this shows how well we work as a team.

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"But, on the other hand, I would have been angry if Lewis had not accepted the deal. The team has made it clear right from the beginning that we are both treated and respected equally.”

Bottas continued: "We get the same equipment, there is no number one and number two driver, and I trusted that was the case.

"I am fighting for the world championship, as this is also about my own career.

"I do not want to be in Lewis' shadow."

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Formula 1

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