Bottas: Spain defeat 'annoying' in context of title fight vs. Hamilton

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Valtteri Bottas admits his defeat to Lewis Hamilton in Spain was "annoying" in championship terms.

As Mercedes scored their fifth consecutive 1-2 in Barcelona, it was once again the start that proved decisive as Hamilton squeezed through past his teammate at Turn 1.

The Briton's eventual win plus fastest lap point allowed him to reopen a seven-point lead in the Drivers' standings as a result, with Bottas knowing every twist is crucial.

“For now, [the title battle is] between me and Lewis, but it’s a massively long season,” the Finn told

“There are many teams that, especially at some tracks, are very close and it’s going to be a big development race between teams all through the season.

“But if it’s going to be me and Lewis, every single opportunity is going to be key.

“That’s why [the race in Spain] for me was annoying. I felt I worked hard for this weekend and for the qualifying… to be on pole, on this circuit where it means a lot and I lost it at the start.

“But that’s life and there are 16 opportunities to go. That’s plenty. I look forward to it, Monaco next and we’ll see.”

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Always a possible banana skin, the streets of Monte Carlo haven't always been kind to Mercedes and team boss Toto Wolff knows a tricky weekend awaits.

"The next two weeks are going to be a tremendous challenge for us," he told

"We've not had the performance in Monaco in the last few years. Remember how strong Ricciardo was last year in the Red Bull, they were in a league of their own.

“We need to take one step at a time but it is massively exciting for us to go there. I wish we could go there tomorrow.

"Everybody's working flat out to try to understand the car for Monaco and really be strong there."