Bottas convinced he has pace to thwart Hamilton's Schumacher bid
Valtteri Bottas has no doubt he has the pace this year to stop Lewis Hamilton from equalling Michael Schumacher's record haul of seven Formula 1 world titles.
Following a difficult season-opening weekend for Hamilton in Austria where Bottas took the chequered flag, the six-time F1 champion was back on form for the subsequent race at the Red Bull Ring, and again in the last grand prix in Hungary.
Hamilton now heads into a double-header at Silverstone, a circuit where he has won a record six times in the past, with a five-point lead over Bottas in the drivers' standings.
The Finn, though, has seen enough signs from his own drives to suggest he has what it takes to bring Hamilton's title run to an end.
"I think my performance has been good," said Bottas in reflecting on his season to date. "There have been some unlucky events that have cost me a little bit, but performance-wise, I'm pleased. It's a very encouraging start.
"I think I do have the pace this year to win the title, but obviously it's an individual battle every single weekend, and everything needs to go right.
"It didn't go right in Austria in the wet qualifying; it didn't go right in Hungary because of the race start, but from each weekend, I've learned again massively.
"Going to Silverstone, I was on pole last year, so I'm confident going there. It's a good track. I know Lewis is strong, no doubt. He is strong everywhere, but I also believe in my ability to be able to beat him, and that's the big goal for me."
While Bottas can understand the remarks of his rivals, he is refusing to be complacent. "At this point, based on two different tracks, we have been the best, and sometimes with a big margin. That's a fact," said Bottas.
"But you just never know how a season can go, and if we start thinking that way, that's going to be a mistake from our side, so we're going to continue to keep pushing.
"If you look at the future, I think if you ask anyone in the world, what would you predict [as to] how it's going to be, yes, this one you would say is going to be between me and Lewis.
"But you just never know. It is Formula 1 and anything can change. For me, the main thing is to improve on my performance and beating my team-mate and everyone else on track."
Bottas races to win as does Lewis. Lewis is top of his game despite fierce opposition from the young guns. He does not need Mercedes to prevent Bottas winning. Lewis is on another level and Bottas knows it.
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