NURBURGRING • Valtteri Bottas has admitted he needs a miracle to stop Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton from claiming a record-equalling seventh Formula One championship, but he has no intention of conceding defeat until the contest is mathematically impossible.
The Finn, who was forced to retire on lap 19 of Sunday's Eifel Grand Prix after suffering a power failure, is now 69 points behind the Briton who equalled Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race wins in Germany. It was Hamilton's seventh win in 11 races this season and, remarkably, extended his record run of consecutive finishes in the points to 44.
"I understand the gap to Lewis is now pretty big in the points," Bottas said, with characteristic understatement. "So, I would definitively need a miracle, but, as always, there's no point in giving up. I have to keep the bar high for me and keep trying... I think that's the best mindset - there's no point now to non-stop calculate the points for Lewis.
"For me, the mindset is to never give up. It's still with me so - no chance to get out of it."
With six races remaining, starting in Portugal in two weeks, Hamilton has such a luxurious cushion that he is only likely to let a seventh title slip if he has at least three non-finishes.
But while the former Williams driver cannot account for mechanical failure, Nico Rosberg, who pipped Hamilton to the 2016 championship, still felt his replacement has not done enough to challenge the Silver Arrows' No. 1 driver.
The German told Sky Sports, "It's such a big gap that it's going to be almost impossible for Valtteri to close up."