Bottas not giving up the fight
Finn, third in the driver's standings but 41 points behind, insists he is still in the hunt
With all eyes on the fierce rivalry between Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and the three points that separate the duo, Valtteri Bottas reckons he can pull off a surprise victory.
At a private meet-and-greet session for Hugo Boss and Mercedes-Benz at The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore yesterday, the Mercedes No. 2 was asked if he could sneak up from behind the two frontrunners.
His reply was an emphatic yes.
"It is definitely possible. Every single race I go to, there's always a chance for the win," said the 28-year-old Finn, who is currently third, 41 points behind leader Hamilton.
"That makes a big difference how you approach the weekend, and I will do everything I can to get another win.
"There are still seven races to go, that's a lot. It's a long season ahead.
"I go race by race, not think too much. I just want to collect as many points as possible and hopefully that will take me far."
Bottas has scored in 12 out of 13 races this season, including victories at Bahrain and Austria, along with seven other podium finishes.
His impressive showing since taking over from last season's champion Nico Rosberg has convinced Mercedes to hand him a one-year contract extension.
And the man inspired by the exploits of his countryman, 1998 and 1999 world champion Mika Hakkinen, is keen to repay his employers' faith as soon as this weekend.
It won't be easy though.
The 5.065km Marina Bay street circuit is notoriously tight and twisty with a season-high 23 corners.
In the Singapore humidity, drivers perform an average of 4,800 gear changes (compared to 2,000 for Silverstone and 3,100 for Sepang) and lose about 4kg of sweat during the race.
Bottas, who once owns a dog named Rubens Barrichello and now has a cat called Turbo, said: "It's easy to feel the pressure and be confused by the distractions in this sport, but I'm born with composure.
"With the corners and humidity, Singapore is the second-most difficult circuit after Monaco.
"It's really challenging and physically demanding but I'm a guy who likes a challenge. I come from a cold country, so I don't mind it hot and warm.
"This track is very exciting and it's kind of cool. I don't really think about the gear changes, it comes automatically."
Tomorrow's qualification will be key in a race where overtaking can be difficult.
He said: "I definitely need to try to qualify ahead or at least get a better race start.
"Lewis is always a tough guy to beat. Everything needs to be perfect on my side to finish ahead.
"He's such a good driver and a good challenge for me. It makes me try harder. Occasionally, I have been able to finish ahead of him this year but I would love to see it happening more often."
Unlike Rosberg, Bottas seems to enjoy a warmer relationship with Hamilton, and was even spotted gaming with the Briton on the PlayStation during a qualification delay at Monza last fortnight.
Although he recognises Hamilton as one of the greatest in the sport, he added he can be just as competitive.
He said: "If I perform well, if I manage to qualify well, have strong pace, for sure I can still fight for the wins.
"But if it is going to be the case that for some reason I'm missing pace, if Lewis is doing a better job, me running in P2 and clearly behind, then it's obviously better to help than try something silly.
"I'm always going to be a team player and it is up to the team to decide these kind of things, so we'll see.
"We'll go race by race and by every situation, but like I said it is also a lot up to me. I need to perform if I still want to fight for the title."