Hamilton battle the reward for hard work - Bottas

Bottas Spanish GP press conference 2019 F1

Valtteri Bottas leads the Formula 1® drivers' championship ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix and believes his improved recent results are reward for hard work.

The Mercedes driver is a point ahead of team-mate and defending champion Lewis Hamilton, having each won two of the first four races in 2019, with the team earning a run of one-twos.

The start to this season represents a significant improvement on last term when Bottas did not register a single victory, but he was always confident his efforts would eventually lead to better performances.

"There are many things in this sport that can affect [results]," Bottas told a news conference in Barcelona. "Sometimes, you are more lucky; sometimes, you are very much less so.

"But I honestly think, for me, the reason I have been able to improve year by year is the work, the work with my team and with my ability, focusing on all the little details. If you work hard, it's only a matter of time before things will start to go right.

"Obviously, I'm pleased with how the season has started compared to recent ones. It's very positive.

"As a team, the level we have been able to perform in these first four races is really impressive. It's not only me but also the team. There's a good battle with Lewis at the moment."

However, even with Sebastian Vettel 35 points behind Bottas, the Finn insists there is "not that much difference" between the Silver Arrows and Ferrari.

"If you look at the results, it looks like we've been dominating as a team, four one-twos in a row," he said. "But in terms of the pace of the car, there's not that much difference between us and Ferrari.

"It really depends on the race weekend. I think Melbourne, we were stronger. Bahrain, pure pace, they were better. After that, it's been pretty close and all about fine details in qualifying and what's been happening in the race.

"I would see us not far from on par with Ferrari. Depending on tracks, it's going to change."

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