F1

Valtteri Bottas reveals Mercedes contract worries but plays down Lewis Hamilton advantage

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is expected to use the summer break to decide on who to partner with Lewis Hamilton next season.

Bottas was expected to put up a sustained world title challenge this season but he is 62 points behind his team-mate.

Esteban Ocon is pushing for a Mercedes seat in 2020 after missing out on a drive this year.

And Bottas is finding it difficult to perform to a high level with all the pressure on his shoulders.

“Some people might think that some drivers perform better under pressure when things are on the limit but for me it does not help,” Bottas said.

“I can’t say going into Turn 1 [at the Hungarian Grand Prix] I was thinking about it.

“But I was very hungry for the win even if there was contract talks or not, I wanted to win this race and I wanted to take the risk but it didn’t go as planned.

“That is the thing in this sport, balancing the risks just enough and pushing hard to try to take the opportunities but still not f*** up.

“When, contract-wise, you are on the limit it never helps.”

Surprisingly Bottas also revealed he is not too fussed about the deficit to Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.

“It is a big gap, much bigger than I would like to have,” the 29-year-old admitted.

“But that is the gap now.

“There is not much else I can do and I don’t really want to think about it too much at the moment.”

The F1 season resumed at the Belgian Grand Prix on September 1.

But by then Mercedes will likely have announced their options for 2020.

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