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Boosted Bottas targets runner-up spot in championship

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Valtteri Bottas improved his confidence with a good run in Sunday's Japanese GP and has set his sights on overhauling Sebastian Vettel in the championship.

The Mercedes driver was left questioning his ability to extract the most out of his W08 following a recent series of disappointing performances.

But a positive Japanese GP weekend, concluded by a well-deserved run to fourth, has boosted the Finn's morale and reduced the gap with Vettel in the drivers' standings.

"The race was good, I think the weekend overall was a lot better – I felt better in the car and I had the fastest lap in the race, which is always good," said Bottas.

"So looking forward to Austin, and I just want to win again. I’ll keep pushing

"Second place is definitely a good target. It’s not like fighting for the championship win, things are looking pretty good for Lewis, but I’ll do everything I can to get second."

Bottas enjoyed a good scrap with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages of Sunday's race, producing the fastest race lap in the process, but the Finn just ran out of laps and time to beat the Aussie to the checkered flag.

"I got very close," said Bottas.

"The pace was really good in the end, and that was what we expected with the strategy choice, so there were opportunities at the end, but not enough laps left.

"Which was a shame, I think it was a pretty decent race. Fourth place is not that much reward for that.

"I’ve definitely learned a lot this year, and learned something from this weekend, and I’m going to focus on these late few races and make the most out of them."

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