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Valtteri Bottas thinks Williams F1 team can still fight Red Bull

Valtteri Bottas believes the Williams Formula 1 team can still carry the fight to Red Bull at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, despite a tough race in Monaco last time out.

The Grove-based outfit failed to qualify either of its cars in the top 10 at Monaco, and got only one car home in the points as Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull carried the fight to Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes for second spot.

Bottas, whose own race was ended early by an engine failure reportedly relating to his Energy Recovery System, reckons Williams will be stronger in Montreal, if it can get on top of the front tyre warm-up issues that held it back in Monaco.

"I think we can still fight [Red Bull]," Bottas said. "It's not easy - they are really improving, [but] Monaco was probably their strongest place of the season.

"On paper, Monaco was one of the more difficult tracks for us. We just need to keep working on the updates.

"In theory Canada should be one of the good ones for us [with] long straights.

"We know in Canada it can be cold and sometimes people struggle with getting front tyres up to temperature, so we really need to take some action.

"We know the issue, so we are now looking to solve it."

SILVER LINING

Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley reckons the team has taken big steps forward in curing the rear grip issues that have afflicted the FW36 since the start of the season, something that should pay dividends in Montreal.

"In the first three races it was all about traction, traction, traction, and we've worked incredibly hard in lots of different areas to get around that," Smedley said.

"The teams were a little under-prepared for the front-tyre warm-up issues that we faced in Monaco - we could have done a better job in qualifying with that.

"[But] the positive is that we appear to be making inroads into the traction issues, which is a difficult problem to solve.

"Every cloud has a silver lining and I'm happy with that."

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