Mercedes deserves its early run of success, insists Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas insists that Mercedes opening salvo of four back-to-back victories to open the 2019 Formula 1 world championship are thoroughly deserved, and not simply the result of luck or the misfortune of their rivals.

"I think we’ve done a great job as a team," Bottas told the Thursday afternoon FIA press conference at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, ahead of this weekend Spanish Grand Prix.

"We have done a great job as a team. The level we have been performing at we deserve these results," he continued. "The level we have been able to perform in these first four races has been really impressive

"Of course there are many things in this sport that can affect [the outcome]. Sometimes you’re more lucky, sometimes very much less so," he conceded. "Like in Bahrain, because we got the one-two finish because of another team’s failures.

"But it’s also means we were the most reliable car at that race, so it’s not only luck. It’s mostly how the team is performing."

It's not only the team, of course: Bottas himself is enjoying his strongest start to any season in his F1 career, sharing those four wins two apiece with his team mate Lewis Hamilton.

"I’m obviously pleased with how the season has started, compared to recent ones. That is very positive," he said. "It’s a good battle with Lewis at the moment.

"I honestly think for me, why I have been able to improve year by year is really work with the team, work with my ability, focus on all the single details. If we work hard, it’s only a matter of time till things will start to go right.”

The Finn acknowledged that Ferrari have been very comparable in terms of performance to Mercedes, and that nothing is certain when it comes to the rest of the season.

“For sure in Melbourne we were stronger [than Ferrari]," he said. "In Bahrain in pure pace they were better, and after that it has been pretty close.

Race winner Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with the team.

“It has been all about fine details in qualifying and what’s been happening in the race.

"I see us not far [ahead], more on par with Ferrari. Depending on the track, that will change."

Bottas believes that this weekend's race could be one of those which finally goes the way of Ferrari. The Scuderia is bringing a new specification power unit ahead of schedule in an effort to stop Mercedes' winning streak.

"Obviously this weekend, from the upgrades I understand Ferrari is bringing, a new power unit, let’s see how that works," Bottas said. "But we have some new parts as well, so let’s see how that works."

And he is keenly aware that there dangers elsewhere on the grid, not just from Ferrari.

"I can’t really discount Red Bull in this kind of track, and also in Monaco in two weeks’ time.

"But it’s early on in the season. And as always when there are regulation changes, it’s going to be a lot about the development, on how much we can improve."

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