Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas explains why he hasn't been able to keep up with Hamilton in the title race

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Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he must change his driving style in order to better suit his Mercedes F1 car.

“Some things in my natural driving style are kind of opposite to this car in places,” he said, as per Autosport.

He pointed to this in order to explain why he finds himself so far adrift of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, but says that he believes he can make the necessary changes to his driving style to put things right.

The Finnish driver also stressed that he was happy to adapt his style to his car, rather than have the car changed to suit his requirements.

"I believe I can change my driving style in certain ways and I have no choice but to do that - that's how it always goes in motor racing," said Bottas.

"In the race you always have different kinds of car and you always have to get used to that to get the most out of the package.

"You can't rely on one driving style and drive the car like that. That's not the quickest way."

There's been nothing that's really changed the car or how the car works," he said. "So that's not really the explanation."

During the Singapore Grand Prix earlier in the month, Bottas was matching Hamilton's times but admitted that he “definitely was lacking pace in the wet” and faded “after a couple of laps” in each stint.

"I looked at a lot of things and there's definitely a lot of things I could do better if I could do the race again," he continued.

"It's obviously too late, but I will know it for the future."

While he and Hamilton ended up with very different set-ups in Singapore, Bottas said that was a rarity.

"Singapore was a one-off as we separated into very different paths with the car's set-up," he said. "I just couldn't drive with a car similar to Lewis's.

"The direction I went into, performance wise, was not ideal but at least I could still drive the car like that.

"In general in the year, our setup has been quite similar, not massive differences."

Bottas currently finds himself 51 points shy of his teammate Lewis Hamilton, but could we see that deficit shortened or even eradicated once the 28-year-old adapts his style to his car? Bottas himself certainly thinks so.

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