Singapore - Valtteri Bottas said he'd see finishing third in
the drivers' championship as a failure after he was handed a new one-year
contract by his Formula One team Mercedes.
The Finn trails his team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's
Sebastian Vettel by 38 points, and he said he needs to get his act together
"Anything in Formula One is always possible with seven
races to go," Bottas said ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, the 14th of
20 races this season.
"But I do definitely need to start finishing ahead of
Lewis and Sebastian if I want to keep my title hopes alive, and rather sooner
He added: "I'm not here to finish third. I definitely
want to be fighting for the title as long as there is possibilities for that.
"I really want to make the most out of the end of the
year and I always set my targets very high, so third is not one of them."
Bottas has won two races this year and has 197 points, while
Hamilton (238 points) and Vettel (235) have 10 victories between them.
A one-year deal could leave Bottas vulnerable at the end of
next season, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo among the drivers who will become
But Bottas said he now had the opportunity to nail down a
spot with Mercedes with his performances this year and next season.
"For sure the team always wants to have options open for
the future, I understand 100 percent. But I'm very happy with this. It's still
better than the original contract that I had," Bottas said.
"As always with my career in F1, it's going to be
completely up to me. If I perform well, there's no problem and we can have a
long future together."