Valtteri Bottas: Mercedes driver targets win in every race

Valtteri Bottas
Victory in the Russian Grand Prix was Valtteri Bottas' first in F1

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas says he will be going to every race this year aiming to win, following his first grand prix victory in Russia last month.

Bottas' win moved him to within 10 points of team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the championship, and 23 behind Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

The Finn said he was now aiming to win the next race in Spain this weekend.

"It would be stupid not to go for the win - that is going to be the only goal in every race," Bottas said.

"It is always possible and what is so exciting this year is going to every race I know there is an opportunity for the race win."

The 27-year-old joined Mercedes last winter as a replacement for world champion Nico Rosberg, who retired after winning the title.

In an exclusive interview with BBC Radio 5 live, Bottas said he believes he can build on the boost in self-belief provided by his maiden win, which came in his 81st race.

"It does make a difference and it is always a confidence boost when you have a good result and many times you can carry on that momentum," he said.

"I feel the main momentum at the moment is how I have been able to improve every single qualifying and race, and I want to keep that, improving all the time."

'You need to believe in yourself'

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Bottas (right) dominated Hamilton throughout the weekend in Russia

Bottas was third behind Vettel and Hamilton in Australia, but spun while warming his tyres behind the safety car in China and finished only sixth as Hamilton won.

He took his first career pole in the third grand prix in Bahrain, where he finished third after twice being told to move over for his faster team-mate.

But in Russia he dominated Hamilton all weekend, out-qualifying the three-time champion by nearly 0.5 seconds and taking an impressive win under pressure from Vettel as the Briton struggled to fourth.

Bottas said he was approaching the challenge of trying to beat Hamilton by trying to concentrate only on his own work.

"The main thing for me is to keep doing what I'm doing and focus on my own thing," he said.

"You need to believe in yourself and know you can be at a competitive level but the main thing is really just keep going and work hard and focus on your own job.

"And my job is to drive the car as quickly as possible. There are many details that go into that but that doesn't change whatever the situation is, whoever is the team-mate."

So far in 2017 Hamilton has one race win, vettel has two and Bottas one, with Raikkonen on none
Race to the title: who has finished where so far. Next stop: Spain

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