Valtteri Bottas is refusing to rule himself out of the Formula 1 title fight despite a tough Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
'We need to go race by race'
Valtteri spent much of the race running in third, but came under pressure after a late Safety Car. The Finn stuck with the Soft tyre as the field stopped for a final time, but he was swamped by the UltraSoft-shod cars of Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo, dropping to fifth.
With eight races to go, Valtteri trails championship Sebastian Vettel by 41 points, but knows his title hopes remain in his own hands.
"If I perform well because it's still eight races to go that is a big amount of points," said Valtteri. "The guys in front of me in the championship haven't had any DNFs, hopefully of course not for us, but maybe it can happen.
"But I don't think that way. I don't let those negative things come to my mind. For sure at some point I understand if the team wants to go for the championship and really make sure that at least one of the guys wins it but it's a bit early. We need to go race by race and every race there are different situations."
Valtteri explained that his restart woes were simply because he couldn't get his Soft tyres up to temperature, leaving him a target for Ricciardo and Raikkonen into Les Combes.
'The guys came both sides of me'
"I could already feel behind the Safety Car that I just couldn't get the Soft tyre to the window ever," he said. "It was getting worse and worse. I was struggling with the temperature and it felt pretty much like driving on ice behind the Safety Car.
"Already from the last corner when the Safety Car went in I had a poor exit, poor traction out of Turn 19. I had to cover Turn 1 because of the car really close by; otherwise he would go on the inside. I had poor overall grip into Turn 1, then poor traction and a bad exit onto the back straight.
"The guys came both sides of me - I tried to brake late for Turn 5 but I couldn't stop and the car just went straight. It took another half a lap to get the tyres to work and then after a couple of laps it felt okay again.
"I think the guys with the UltraSoft at the restart had the upper hand and it was really disappointing to lose the podium. If two guys overtake you in one corner it's not a so good feeling."