'I definitely want to be fighting for the title so I definitely need to start finishing ahead of Lewis and Sebastian.' File photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

Singapore - Valtteri Bottas would see finishing third in the Drivers' championship as a failure after he was handed a new one-year contract by his Formula One team Mercedes.

Bottas trails team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by 38 points, and he said he needs to get his act together quickly.

"Anything in Formula One is always possible with seven races to go," he said ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, the 14th of 20 races this season. "But I do definitely need to start finishing ahead of Lewis and Sebastian if I want to keep my title hopes alive, and rather sooner than later."

"I'm not here to finish third," he added. "I definitely want to be fighting for the title as long as there is possibilities for that. I really want to make the most out of the end of the year and I always set my targets very high, so third is not one of them."

Nailing it down

Bottas has won two races in 2017 and has 197 points, while Hamilton (238 points) and Vettel (235) have 10 wins between them.

A one-year deal could leave Bottas vulnerable at the end of 2018, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo among the drivers who will become available. But Bottas said he now had the opportunity to nail down a spot with Mercedes with his performances this year and next season.

"For sure the team always wants to have options open for the future, I understand 100 percent," he said. "But I'm very happy with this. It's still better than the original contract that I had,

"As always with my career in F1, it's going to be completely up to me. If I perform well, there's no problem and we can have a long future together."

Agence France-Presse

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