Bottas not feeling the heat in the desert

Valtteri Bottas said he is treating this weekend just like any other race despite his costly crash in Melbourne.

Valtteri Bottas faces the media in Bahrain   -  Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas does not feel extra pressure to succeed in the Bahrain after a nightmare start to the season at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver apologised after crashing out of qualifying ahead of the first race of the year in Melbourne.

Bottas, who is fighting to retain his Silver Arrows seat for 2019, finished eighth at Albert Park as Sebastian Vettel topped the podium for Ferrari.

But the Finn said he is treating this weekend in Bahrain just like any other.

He said: "I think it's a normal race weekend, that's my feeling at the moment, honestly.

"Sometimes you have bad races and then there's always the next one and of course you always want to perform but there is no point in gathering pressure from one mistake in qualifying. Of course, I always hope for a good weekend but yeah, I feel a normal race weekend ahead."

Bottas added: "It was a bad weekend [in Melbourne], that's it. Now we still have 20 races to go and we're here in Bahrain, so nothing really to worry about at this point. We have a competitive car.

"We know we still have a lot of work to do to make it better. Just a bad weekend, so looking forward to this one."

The 28-year-old is expecting a tough battle with Ferrari and Red Bull under the lights in the desert.

"I think historically Ferrari has been good here. They had good race pace in Australia." Bottas said.

"Last year they had stronger pace here than in Australia, so I think it's going to be a threat and they are going to be close to us.

"Even Red Bull. But more than that, just can't say. We will see how the weekend develops."