Valtteri Bottas doesn’t want to be ruled out as a contender for the world title, saying it’s too early to narrow the fight down to Lewis Hamilton and Sebatsian Vettel.

The Finn scored a podium finish on his debut at Mercedes as Nico Rosberg’s replacement but suffered a difficult Chinese GP after a blunder during a safety car period set him back.

Bottas says he is still settling in and will take his time to ramp up his speed.

“I think it’s way too early to say if there are only two drivers in the championship battle,” Bottas said.

“We’ve only done two races in this long season, so I wouldn’t say it’s going to be all about Lewis and Sebastian.

It’s a long season, things can change and, for sure, within the team they can definitively see, through everything, how my performance and pace really are.

“In the end, of course, results are all that mater and I’m very keen to get the proper results as soon as possible, because every point I lose now will affect by the end of the year.

“But I don’t feel I’m in a rush with anything; I feel that if I keep doing what I’m doing, progress every single day with the team, I’m sure we’ll be at a very, very good level soon.

“So I don’t feel any panic or rush to prove anything. The team knows exactly where I am with my performance and that’s what counts.”

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Bottas added  that without his spin last Sundat he feels he could reached the checkered flag before Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel

“I think so,” he said. “The car was strong on Sunday, I think Lewis had a very strong race all the way through, there was no tough battle for the win, so as a team we should have been able to finish one-two.

“I know that mistakes happen, it’s normal in sports that people make mistakes and they can happen in situations where you can get away with it.

“Sometimes they happen in critical moments, so that’s life and it’s OK.”

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