Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes are “definitely not favourites” for this weekend’s French Grand Prix.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel eased to victory at the recent Canadian GP and leaving Mercedes needing to improve their car as they look to move closer to a fifth successive constructors title.
They have a planned engine upgrade ready to go ahead of the action at the Paul Ricard Circuit but Bottas says other aspects must also be enhanced.
“It’s different grand prix, different kind of tyres and it’s positive we’re going to have the new engine, which we would have needed to win the (Canada) race,” said Bottas.
“Hopefully we can have some other upgrades as well on the car because every team is developing now race by race and the competition is getting tougher.”
The runner-up in Montreal added: “We came (to Canada) knowing that in theory, it would be a good track for us. We came with even the old engine thinking there’s a very good chance we were going to be fighting for the win. But it wasn’t the case and it shows how tough the development race is now and we need to keep improving.
“We are definitely not the favourites for the French Grand Prix, that’s a fact.”
Mercedes currently hold a 17-point lead over Ferrari in a close-run constructors’ title race.