Valtteri Bottas has eliminated 'way off the pace races' in F1 2018

Valtteri Bottas believes he has eliminated the disappointing weekends that spoiled his first season with the Mercedes Formula 1 team in 2017

Valtteri Bottas has eliminated 'way off the pace races' in F1 2018

The Finn has been far more consistent this year, although he is yet to win a race, logging second places in Bahrain, China and Spain, and being robbed of victory in Baku when he suffered a puncture while leading in the closing stages.

"This year I have been meeting more or less my targets with the performance for the beginning of the year," said Bottas.

"I've been able to really continue good performances from the end of last year.

"And there have been no weekends that I have been way off the pace, like there were a few last year.

"So I feel I have learned from those, and need to continue my development.

"There are never things that you can't learn more, so I still hope I keep improving.

"There's been quite mixed races, and the end results haven't been quite there, that I feel would have been possible with the pace we've had."

Regarding his distant second place behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Spanish GP he said: "The gap to Lewis was huge, but there were many things that affected that.

"I'm happy and I know that I can win races, and I know the speed is there for that.

"This year, it's just extremely difficult, but it is possible, and it will come."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff agreed that Bottas has been more consistent in 2018.

"Valtteri has been upping his game through the last races and has been very solid indeed," said the Austrian.

"And that proves us right with our decision back in the day [to renew his contract for 2018].

"And having the two drivers close to each other in terms of performance levels, and equally respecting each other and racing each other fair is the best case."

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