Valtteri Bottas is expecting a tough battle at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, despite believing the Sepang International Circuit should suit Mercedes better.
'It's going to be a close fight'
Despite struggling for pace at the last round in Singapore, the Silver Arrows came away from the chaotic race with a 1-3 finish.
The sweeping corners and long straights of Malaysia's Formula One venue are next up. Valtteri thinks the track will suit the Mercedes car, but is still predicting an intense scrap.
"It's going to be a hard fight with Ferrari this weekend and I wouldn't underestimate Red Bull, either," the Finn said. "They have been stronger and stronger this year and have been surprisingly quick in some places.
"I think it's going to be a close fight between the three of us. We did struggle pace-wise as a team in Singapore but we expect this one to be better for us. It should be interesting."
'I need to work harder'
"I think I need to win more races," he explained, when asked about how he can gain more confidence for 2018, his second season with the Silver Arrows.
"That's what normally counts and of course we still have six races to go this season, I still have an opportunity to finish this year very strongly with many good results.
"Next year is going to be a new opportunity for me, a new challenge for us as a team. I just need to be better, and have less weekends struggling. The past few races I've had quite a difficult time in terms of pure pace, so I need to work harder.
"But, next year will be quite a different feeling. There won't be as many things to get used to. I know how the team works, I know all the people and the car. That for sure took a lot of energy [this year]. I'm looking forward to it, but I am also looking forward to the last six races of this year."